You are on page 1of 340

Principles of Flight

and Aeroplane Performance

a P~:tf$c.c~ training manual

Volume 7 of the Commercial Pilot Series
covering the NZ CPL examination requirements in the subject

Stewart Boys
Walter Wagtendonk

p,;,e..;t~<J#
155 Waipapa Road
RD 6 Tauranga, New Zealand.
Phone (07) 548 1654 Fax (07) 548 1652
Email: info@pilotbooks.co.nz
Website:www.pilotbooks.co.nz

The Commercial Pilot Series
PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT and Aeroplane Performance

First Edition April 1996
Revised (Eleventh) Edition May 2010
Published by:
Aviation Theory Centre (NZ) Ltd. t/a p.;l.,:tEc.cJ,
155 Waipapa Road,
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty,
New Zealand.
Telephone +64 7 548 1654
Fax +64 7 548 1652
e-mail: info@pilotbooks.co.nz
Website: www.pilotbooks.co.nz

Copright © 1996 Aviation Theory Centre (NZ) Ltd.

THE CONTENTS OF THIS MANUAL ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD UNDER THE BERNE UNION AND THE
UNIVERSAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTION

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any
manner whatsoever- electronic, photographic, photocopying, facsimile, or
stored in a retrieval system- without the prior written permission of the author.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Aviation Setvices Ltd., Lower Hutt
Andy Smith, Nelson Aviation College Ltd., Motueka

Cover Photograph: PSI Mustang taken by Glen Alderton during an air show at Wanaka. The effect of the
wingtip vortex from the right wing can be seen in the smoke at lower left.

Nothing in this text supersedes any regulatmy material or
operational documents issued by the Civil Aviation Authority
or the operators of aircraft.

ISBN 0-9583373-6-5

Printed by:

t2rQ"';nf
47 Second Avenue,
TAURANGA

Editorial Team

Walter Wagtendonk OBE Stewart Boys CBE AFC

Principal Director of Formerly Technical Director of
Aviation Themy Centre (NZ) Aviation The01y Centre (NZ)
Ltd., 'Wal' has had a long Ltd., Stewart retired from the
and successful career in RNZAF as an Air Commodore
flying training. Shortly after in 1991 on completion of 37
arriving in New Zealand years service. His Air Force
from Holland, he joined the career included many years
RNZAF and at the experience as a flying
completion of 8 years instructor and flight
seroice, retired as a Flight commander at the Pilot
Lieutenant and A2 flying Training Squadron; at the
Instructor. He became the Central Flying School; and on
CFI of the Nelson Aero Club and in 1978, together operational units. During his period at CFS,
with his wife Ann, started the Nelson Aviation Stewart was responsible for writing the RNZAF's
College which blossomed into one of New first flying instructors' handbook. Later, he
Zealand's most successful and internationally attended a one-year aero-systems (technology)
recognised training organisations. The college was course with the Royal Air Force college at Manby.
the first to operate under 'approval' to conduct One of the few in the Service to gain an AI QFl
both fixed-wing and helicopter training. His work category, Stewart also has experience as an A
was recognised in 1994 when he was awarded the categmy Civil flying instructor.
OBE for services to aviation.

John Wagtendonk

Involved in aviation from a
vety early age, John obtained
his pilot's licence when he
was 16. Becoming an Air
Traffic Controller in 1978, he
is now a highly experienced
radar controller. John has
previously lectured in
Aviation Law at the Nelson
Aviation College and
currently has some
responsibility for training new
radar controllers.

(iii)

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Aeroscience
Units of Measurement ............................................................ 1-1
Scalar and Vector Quantities .................................................. 1-2
Newton's Laws of Motion ...................................................... 1-3
Motion on a Curved Path ........................................................ 1-7
Vectors ...... ....... .. ....... .. .... .. ........... ..... .. .. ............. .. .. ......... ..... .... 1-8
Moments and Couples ............................................................ 1-9
Equilibrium .............................................................................. 1-10
Centre of Gravity ..................................................................... 1-11
Work. Power. Energy .............................................................. 1-12
Use of Graphs .......................................................................... 1-13
Review 1 ................................................................................... 1-15
Chapter 2. The Atmosphere
Density ..................................................................................... 2-1
Pressure ................................................................................... 2-2
Temperature ............................................................................ 2-3
Density,Pressure and Temperature in the Atmosphere........ 2A
Density Altitude ....................................................................... 2-7
Humidity. Viscosity ................................................................ 2-7
Review 2 ................................................................................... 2-8
Chapter 3. Basic Aerodynamic Theory
Static Pressure ...... .................................................................... 3-1
Dynamic Pressure .................................................................... 3-1
Measurement of Airspeed ...................................................... 3-2
Aerodynamic Force ................................................................ 3-4
Aero foils ........... ........................................................................ 3-5
Angle of Attack ........................................................................ 3-6
Pressure Distribution .............................................................. 3-7
Venturi Effect ...... .... ... .. ........... .. .................. .... .... .... ................. 3-8
Airflow Around an Aerofoil ..................................................... 3-8
Centre of Pressure .................................................................. 3-11
Review3 ................................................................................... 3-14
Chapter 4. Lift
Factors Affecting Lift....................................................................... 4-1
The Coefficient of Lift ............................................................. 4-2
The Lift Formula ...................................................................... 4-2
Variation of CL with Angle of Attack ...................................... 4-3
Three Dimensional Flow Over a Wing ........................................ 4-6
Review 4 ................................................................................... 4-11

Chapter 5. Drag
Classification of Total Drag ..................................................... 5-2
Parasite Drag ................................................................................. 5-2
The Boundary Layer ............................................................... 5-2
Skin-Friction Drag ................................................................... 5-3
Factors Affecting Skin-Friction Drag ...................................... 5-4
Form Drag ................................................................................ 5-5
Factors Affecting Form Drag .................................................. 5-7
Interference Drag .................................................................... 5-9
Induced Drag ................................................................................. 5-9
Factors Affecting Induced Drag ............................................. 5-11
Measures for the Reduction of Induced Drag ....................... 5-12
Total Drag ...................................................................................... 5-13
The Coefficient of Drag ........................................................... 5-13
The Drag Curve ...... .. .... .... ......... .... ......... ....... ...... .... ..... ..... ...... 5-14
Lift/Drag Ratio ............................................................................... 5-15
An Alternative Classification of Drag ........................................... 5-16
Review 5 ..................................................................... 5-17

(iv)

Chapter 6. Lift Augmentation
Trailing-Edge Flaps . ...................................................................... 6-1
Effects of Trailing-edge flap .................................................... 6·2
Types of Trailing-Edge Flap .................................................... 6·4
Slats and Slots ............................................................................... 6·6
Leading-Edge Flaps ...................................................................... 6-7
Combined High-lift devices .......................................................... 6-7
Spoilers .......... ... ... .. ............ ..... .... ..... ... .. .. .. ..... ..... .. .. .. ... ...... ... .... ..... 6-8
Review 6 ................................................................................... 5.g

Chapter 7. Flight Controls
The Primary Flight Controls ......................................................... 7.J
Principle of Operation ............................................................ 7·2
How Control in Flight is Achieved ......................................... 7-3
Effect of Airspeed on the Controls ......................................... 7·7
The Effect of Slipstream ......................................................... 7·7
Unconventional Control Configurations ................................ 7~8
Trim Controls ................................................................................ 7.g
Balancing of Controls ................................................................... 7·I I
Aerodynamic Balance ............................................................ 7·I I
Mass Balancing ....................................................................... 7-14
Review 7 ................................................................................... 7-16

Chapter 8. Stalling and Spinning
Stalling ........................................................................................... 8·1
The Stall and the Lift Formula ................................................ 8·1
Symptoms of the Stall ............................................................. 8-2
The Stall ................................................................................... 8-4
Stall Recovel}' .......................................................................... 8-5
Factors Affecting Stalling Speed ............................................ 8·6
Wing Drop at the Stall ............................................................. 8·1 0
Use of Aileron Near, and During, the Stall ............................ 8-12
Recovel}' From the Wing-Drop stall ...................................... 8-13
Recovel}' at Onset ................................................................... 8-13
Spinning ......................................................................................... 8-14
Autorotation ............................................................................... 8-15
Spin Characteristics. Confirmation ........................................ 8-16
Spin Recove1y .......................................................................... 8-17
Review 8 ................................................................................... 8-18
Chapter 9. Straight and Level Flight
The Forces Acting ................................................................... g.2
Pitching Moments ................................................................... g.3
Variable Effects on the Couples ............................................. g.4
Increasing and Decreasing Speed in Level Flight ................ g.5
Performance in Straight and Level Flight .............................. g.8
The Power Required Curve .................................................... g.8
The Power Available Curve .................................................... g.] 0
Maximum and Minimum Speeds in Level Flight ................. g.] 0
The Effect of Weight and Altitude .......................................... g.]]
Review 9 ................................................................................... g.J3
Chapter 10. Climbing and Descending
Climbing ........................................................................................ I 0·1
The Forces Acting in the Climb ............................................. I 0-2
Climb Performance ................................................................ I 0-4
Factors Affecting Climb Performance ................................... I 0·8
Descending .................................................................................... I 0·1 0
Gliding ...................................................................................... I Q.JJ
Gliding Performance ............................................................... I 0-11
The Power-On Descent .......................................................... I 0-14
Review 10 ................................................................................. 10-15

(v)

Chapter 11. Turning
The Level Turn ........................................................................ 11-2
Load Factor ............................................................................. 11-3
Stalling in Turns ....................................................................... 11-5
Turning Performance .............................................................. 11 ~6
Steep Turns .............................................................................. 11-9
Maximum Rate and Minimum Radius turns ......................... 11-9
Effect of Power ........................................................................ 11-11
Effect of Wind .......................................................................... 11-12
Climbing Turns ... ......... .... ...... ................ ..... .. .. ............. .......... ........ 11-13
RateofCiimb ........................................................................... 11-13
Tendency to Overbank .................. ......................................... 11-13
Descending Turns ......................................................................... 11-14
Rate of Descent ....................................................................... 11-14
Tendency to Underbank ......................................................... 11-14
Manoeuvring in the Vertical Plane .............................................. 11-15
Manoeuvring Limitations ............................................................. 11-17
Speed Limitations ................................................................... 11-17
Load Factor Limitations ......................................................... 11-18
The V-n (orV-g) Diagram ....................................................... 11-18
Review!/................................................................................. 11-20
Chapter 12. Propellers
Terminology ............................................................................ 12-1
Basic Principles ....................................................................... 12-1
Factors Affecting Airflow Across the Blade Sections ...... 12-2
Forces Acting on a Blade Section .......................................... 12-3
The RPM/Airspeed Relationship ............................................ 12-4
Effective Blade Sections ......................................................... 12-5
Propeller Performance ........................................................... 12-6
Slip ............................................................................................ 12-7
Constant-Speed Propellers ........................................................... 12-8
The Constant Speed Unit ........................................................ 12-9
Operation of Constant-Speed Propellers .............................. 12-10
Other Modes of Operation ...................................................... 12-11
Propeller Twisting Moments .................................................. 12-13
Asymmetric Blade Effect ........................................................ 12-15
Propeller Solidity ..................................................................... 12-16
Review 12 ................................................................................. 12-17
Chapter 13. Stability
Static and Dynamic Stability ................................................... 13-1
Stability and Controllability ..................................................... 13-2
Longitudinal Stability .............................................................. 13-3
Factors Affecting the Degree of Longitudinal Stability ......... 13-5
Directional Stability ................................................................. 13-6
Lateral Stability ........................................................................ 13-7
Factors Affecting Lateral Stability .......................................... 13-8
Lateral and Directional Stability considered Together ......... 13-10
Stability and Control an the Ground ............................................ 13-11
Ground Roll Stability ............................................................... 13-11
Control on the Ground ............................................................ 13-12
Swing on Take-Off .................................................................. 13-14
Crosswind Take-Offs and Landings ...................................... 13-16
Ground Effect .. .. .. .. .. ..... .... .. ... .. .. .. ..... .. .. .. .... .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. .... ... ... . 13-18
Review 13 ................................................................................. 13-20
Chapter 14. Asymmetric Flight
Yawing Moment ...................................................................... 14-2
Rolling Moment ....................................................................... 14-2
Other Factors ........................................................................... 14-2
Immediate Actions .................................................................. 14-4
Modes of Constant-Heading Asymmetric Flight ................... 14-5

(vi)

....................................... 17-2 Accelerate-stop Distance ................................ 16-23 Sweepback ... ............................. 16-13 The Effects of Compressibility on Lift ................................. 15-5 Flying for Endurance .................. .............................................................................. 16-31 Chapter 17 Performance Terms and Definitions ...... 16-19 Longitudinal Control .............. ................... 17-7 Runway Slope .... 14-8 14-9 Review 14 .. ......................... ........................................... 16-23 Disadvantages of Sweep back ........................ 17-5 Air Density ..................................... 16-21 Directional Control ................................................ 16-10 Wing Shockwaves .......................................................... 17-7 Runway Surface and Condition ............................................................... 16-15 The Effects of Compressibility on Drag ..................... ................................................................................................................... 15-4 Flying for Range: Practical Application ... 16-9 The Bow Shockwave ............ ............................................................................... 17-1 Take-off Distance available (TOOA) . 17-3 Gross and Net Flight Paths ................................................................ 16-7 Shockwaves ............ ..................... Chapter 15........................................... 16-28 Supersonic Planform Shapes ...... 17-5 Contaminated Runway ............ Minimum Asymmetric Control Speeds ................................ 16-21 Design for High Speed Flight ................................. 16-12 The Nature of Supersonic Flow ................16-6 Formation of Shockwaves ....... ... 16-11 Expansion Waves .... ........ 16-18 Control at High Speed ............................................................................................................. ......................................................................... ...... 17-1 Take-off Distance required (TODR) .. .......................................................... .. 15-11 Chapter 16................................. 16-2 Sound Waves .............................................................. 16-27 Design for Supersonic Flight . 17-5 Drift Down ...................... 15-1 Airframe Considerations: Piston Engine Aircraft Range ......................... 17 -2 Gradient of Climb .............. ...............................Theory ..... 17-7 Wind ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ...... ........................ ................................................................................. ........ 15-8 Engine Considerations .......................................................... 15-9 Practical Application ....................... ........... ................ 17-7 (vii) ............................................ 16-7 Pressure Waves From a Moving Source .......................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... 17-4 Dry Runway ............................................................................................... 16-29 Review 16 .................................... ............. .............. 16-19 Lateral Control .................... High Speed Flight Flow Regimes ............................... 17 -6 Weight ............................................. .............. ............................................... 16-4 Mach Number ............. ............ 16-3 The Speed of Sound ......................... 16-24 Area Rule ........................................................................................................................ 16-4 Speed Ranges ..................................................................................... 17 -5 Factors Affecting Take-off and Landing Performance ........................ ................................................... 16-22 Supercritical Wing Section .......................................................... 17-4 Landing Distance Required (LOR) ................................................................. 17-4 Wet Runway ............ 16-22 Wing Thickness/Chord Ratio ................................................................................................................................ .................................................. 17-3 Landing Distance Available (LOA) ............................................................ ................................. 15-2 Engine Considerations ...... 16-28 Wing Sections ..................... .................................................... ............................................................ 15-9 Review 15 .................................. 15-4 Factors Affecting SFC ....................... Range and Endurance Range Flying ............. .....................

........... 17-46 Appendix 1 Sample Examination .................................................................................................................. 17-28 Allowing for Slope .......... 17-1 0 Density Altitude .............................................. 17 -8 Calculaling Pressure Altitude and Density Altitude ..................................... 17 -22 Use of Older-style P Charts ..... 17-12 Calculation of Density Altitude ............. 17-20 Headwind and Crosswind Component Graph ... 17-26 Allowing for All-up Weight ........................................ 17-30 Landing Graph .................................... 17-26 Establishing Density Altitude .....17 -36 En-route Engine Inoperative Performance ........................ Wet or Contaminated Runways ...................................................................................................................... 17-17 LandingGraph .................................................... 17-29 Allowing for Wind Velocity ............................................................................. 17-7 Other Factors ............ 17-9 Using The Altimeter to Determine Pressure Altitude ................................................................................................................................................................. 17-13 Calculation of Take-off and Landing Distance Required ... ............................................................................................... 17-16 Use of Aircraft Flight Manual Data to obtain TODR and LDR ..................... 17-34 Use of Later ?-charts .......................... 17-17 Take-off Graph ...... 17-28 Allowing for Runway Surface ................... 17-29 Calculating Maximum All-up Weight ...................................................................... Appendix 2-1 Index lndex-1 (viii) ............................... 17-43 Review 17 ..... 17-8 The International Standard Atmosphere ... Appendix 1-1 Appendix 2 Answers to Review Questions and Sample Examination ......................................... 17-39 Single-engine service Ceiling Graph ......................... 17-21 Runway Slope and Surface Correction Factors ........................ 17 -26 Take-off Graph .......................................................... 17-39 Use of Tabulated Performance Data ......................... 17-19 General Notes on the use of Flight Manual Graphs .............................. 17-8 Pressure Altitude .................................................................................................................................................... 17 -II Calculation of Temperature Deviation ...............................................................................................................................................................................

J. 2 Navigation and Flight Planning (I) Vol. As you finish reading a chapter you should take a break and complete the review. Studying the manual and completing the review questions will prepare you for the examination and the knowledge gained will make you a better. and Vol I 0. 'High Speed Flight' is not required reading for the CPL examination. Notes: (!) Also part of the 'Recreational Pilot's Series'. The manual is one of the 'Commercial Pilot Series' published by p~. The information in this manual is presented in a direct.~ for candidates for the New Zealand Instrument Rating are the companion volumes: Vol 9. Candidates for the New Zealand Commercial Pilot Licence (Helicopter) examinations are referred to the book Principles of Helicopter Flight by W. This series comprises: Vol. Instrument Rating Law. 6 Meteorology for Professional Pilots (2) Vol. It is included not only to 'round out' the subjects covered by the manual but also as being suitable for study toward the ATPL requirement for Advanced Aerodynamics. Wagtendonk which is published in the USA and is available by contacting p~g. you can refer to Appendix 2 at the back of the manual to compare your results with ours.(JS~<>t-. (2) Also suitable for ATPL studies. Chapters 1-15 cover Part I of the examination (Principles of Flight) while Chapter I 7 covers Part II (Performance). (ix) .. 5 Air Law (I) Vol.~ direct. The Instrument Rating Manual. easy-to-follow manner which is practical and thorough.Introduction This manual is aimed primarily at providing the knowledge required by candidates for the New Zealand Commercial Pilot Licence in Principles of Flight and Performance (Aeroplane). When you have written down your answers. 7 Principles of Flight and Aeroplane Performance (2) Vol. Review Questions At the end of each chapter you will find a review which consists of a series of simple but comprehensive questions. Please note that Chapter I 6. 8 General Aircraft Technical Knowledge. Also published by P~:tg. safer and more confident pilot.

It is similar to the examinations prepared by Aviation Services Ltd (ASL) to test candidates for the CPL. (x) . Best wishes for successful. Study Assistance would be pleased to assist in answering any queries on study for the CAA licences generally. Once you have finished reading the manual and completed the chapter reviews. safe and enjoyable flying from all at P~:t"{. The answers are given after the review answers in Appendix 2. fax.c.. or on any specific area covered by the manuals which we publish.Sample Examination A sample examination is included at Appendix I. Please phone. or send an e-mail message to any of the addresses listed on the first page of this book. The chapter reviews and sample examination together provide a ready means of 'recap' prior to sitting the ASL examination.cJo. you should test yourself under simulated examination conditions.

as this is often the simplest and most direct way to relate the factors involved and gain an understanding of how they interact. Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-1 . amount of substance-the mole. The fundamental SI units which we are concerned with in this manual are: • Length . Those who are newcomers to the subject are advised that what follows is but a brief summary of the more important principles involved. Readers who have studied physics at Secondary School should already be familiar with the subject matter of this chapter.metre (m). not only in fully understanding this manual.Aeroscience Introduction A familiarity with certain basic mechanical and physical principles is essential to a good understanding of the principles of flight and aircraft performance. • Mass . I oc change in temperature is equivalent to one degree K change in temperature. At the level at which the manual is pitched. where ooc and I oooc respectively represent the freezing and boiling points of water. If this is the case. electric current-the ampere. Units of Measurement Throughout the world. most will be relieved to find that in nearly all cases there is no requirement to actually apply them to work out numerical answers to problems. explanations of the principles of flight are liberally sprinkled with such equations.kilogram (kg). the chapter can be treated as a refresher. • Temperature. (The remaining fundamental units in the SI system-but which are of no concern to us in this manual are. the degree Kelvin (K) is the fundamental unit for temperature and the oc is a derived unit.degrees Celsius COC). This chapter provides a summary of those mechanical and physical laws. the International System of units (or Sl system) is increasingly being used for the measurement of physical quantities. but also toward their preparation for the Commercial Pilot Licence examinations in other subjects. luminous intensity-the candela. Although the starting points of the Kelvin and Celsius scales are different. They may find that a separate study of a good secondary- level text book on physics (available from most bookstores or libraries) will be helpful. While a working knowledge of these equations is unavoidable.) NOTE: Strictly speaking. This manual assumes that readers will have a basic capability in mathematics- particularly with handling and understanding simple algebraic equations. and for practical purposes it is usually much more convenient to use the Celsius scale. • Time -second (s). concepts and plinciples which are important to a comprehension of the chapters which follow.

Vector quantities can be represented in a graph or diagram by an arrow (or vector) with its length representing magnitude and the arrowhead representing the direction of the quantity. ' length _. I ft = 0·3048 m. and are likely to be for some time. othe1wise the quantity becomes scalar in nature. but some which are pertinent to this manual are: • Force . windspeed is a scalar quantity. • Speed (airspeed. There is therefore a need for a clear understanding of what is meant by the different ways of describing motion. I Pa = I newton per square metre (Nm2 ). We will be discussing vectors in more detail later in this chapter. You will sometimes see the term kilograms force (kg/f) being used. ' indicates magnitude head Fig. I kg/f = 9·81 N.watt (W). When referring to vector quantities. • Power . Derived units are those which can be formed by the combination of the fundamental units.~ indicates ' direction of the quantity tail Describing Motion The principles of flight are based to a large extent on the study of the movement of aircraft through the air. For interest.852 m.newton (N). I kt = 0·514m/sor 1·85km/hr. Although the power of modern car engines is rated in kilowatts (kW or l.OOOW).. Scalar and Vector Quantities A scalar quantity is one which has only magnitude (or size). When we refer to a scalar quantity we are concerned only with the amount of the quantity and it is either unimportant or not possible to specify the direction of the quantity. • Pressure -pascal (Pa). is referred to as the wind velocity (W/V) vector. in aviation. If both speed and direction are stated. If speed alone is stated.measured in nautical miles (nm). • navigational distance . An example is windspeed. These are: • altitude.measured in knots (kt). I nm = I . An example of a scalar quantity is temperature. There are many derived units. 1-1. wind speed). I horsepower = 746 W (or roughly% kW). of the quantity '. A vector quantity is one which has both magnitude and direction.-----"'. most light aircraft engines are still rated in horsepower. Non-S! Units used in Aviation In aviation some units from the older 'Imperial' or 'English' system are still almost universally used. 1-2 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . groundspeed. a direction must be specified.measured in feet (ft). it becomes a vector quantity which. A newton is the force required to accelerate a I kg mass at lm per second per second. Power is force x distance per unit time and watts are equivalent to newton metres/second (Nm/s).

It is distance travelled in a given direction in unit time. acceleration occurs whenever. or • there is a change in direction. If speed is decreased. We will be discussing each of these three laws in detail as we progress through this chapter. Newton's First Law Newton's First Law can be written in English as: "Every object continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line. metres/second. distance travelled in a given direction velocity= time taken Acceleration Acceleration in a straight line will also be familiar to most readers. A more concise way of phrasing the foregoing is to state that: • acceleration occurs whenever there is a change in velocity. • there is a change in speed. The direction of the acceleration is toward the centre of the curved path which exists at any given moment. speed is a scalar quantity. Acceleration also occurs when there is solely a change in direction but not in speed. it is negative-and usually referred to as deceleration.g." Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-3 .Speed Speed is well understood by most people. e. Newton's Laws of Motion Sir Isaac Newton (1642 . Although its speed through the air is constant. or • there is a change in both speed and direction. In summary. The term velocity is used (rather than speed) when the direction of travel is important. distance travelled speed= time taken Velocity Velocity is the vector equivalent of speed.1727) was the first to describe three simple rules governing the motion of objects in his work The Principa which was written in Latin and published in 1687. kilometres/hour. unless acted upon by an external force. We will be using velocity vectors in many of the diagrams in the following chapters. the aircraft is accelerating because its direction is changing. If speed is increased. It is distance travelled in unit time. Consider an aircraft which is turning with a constant speed registered on the airspeed indicator. or-of importance in aviation-in nautical miles/hour (or knots). In the way in which we use the term. the acceleration is said to be positive. It follows from the foregoing that acceleration occurs when there is both a change in speed and direction.

Because of its considerable mass. the forces acting on the wagon are in equilibrium and no acceleration is caused. mass is measured in kilograms. if a force exists.it tends to move the object out of its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line. a railway wagon standing on a straight piece of level track. Once it is moving at a constant velocity it will tend to retain that velocity and the shunting force can be reduced to that which is just sufficient to overcome rolling resistance. it is always trying to accelerate the object which it is acting upon. an attraction or repulsion. 1-2. In the SI system. In Newton's words.as a push or a pull. an influence. and what it does. the wagon will remain stationa1y... It is a property of. If the shunting force at one end of the wagon is opposed by an equal and opposite force at the other end.. a large shunting force must be applied to overcome its inertia and to get it moving.from the force applied: inertia and this amount is needed to overcome rolling resistance inertia and rolling resistance this net amount remains to provide acceleration Fig.. By comparison.. Mass and inertia cannot be separated-objects with a lot of mass have greater inertia than those with less mass. 1-3. . and depends solely on the mass of the object. put another way. 1-4 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series .. Consider again our example of the stationa1y railway wagon.. . small force I !ow mass I required to overcome inertia Fig. Mass and Inertia The tendency of an object to continue moving at a certain velocity (or to remain at rest with zero velocity) is called inertia.. a lower-mass vehicle like a supermarket trolley requires less force to get it moving because it has less inertia.. A common definition of mass is that it is 'the amount of matter in an object'. Before the wagon can begin to move (or accelerate) one or other of these balanced forces must be removed or reduced so that a net force is available to cause the change in velocity. Consider for example.the hictional forces and air resistance.. In this situation. a force is identified by what it does. Force Newton's First Law also indicates what a force is. Or. A net force must be available to cause an acceleration. or a pressure on an object.. an 'external' force must exist. A force can be described in various ways . Whatever the description. Large masses require a large force to overcome their inertia. Whether a force is successful or not in causing an acceleration depends on whether it is balanced by other opposing forces.

the force required to achieve the same acceleration must also be increased.e. Weight Weight is not the same thing as mass. This equation neatly sums up the connection between force. where the strength of the moon's gravitational field force is about one-sixth of that on the earth's surface. If a consistent system of units is used. g =the acceleration caused by gravity) In the Sl system. As we have seen. Alternatively. and the mass in kilograms (kg). where the force is in newtons (N). this weight (or force) of 9·81 newtons is called a kilogram force. That 'constant' attraction of gravity is such as to cause (or t1y to cause) an acceleration of 9·81 m/s 2 on all masses. as the distance from the centre of the earth increases the force of gravity (and therefore weight) decreases. Under the SI system. To simplify matters in normal life. mass is the 'amount of substance in an object' whereas weight is a force-it is the force produced when an object (or mass) is acted upon by gravitational attraction. it would weigh approximately 0·5 kg/f. the resulting acceleration will be in metres per second per second (m/s 2 ). If we divide both sides ofthe above equation by 9·81.Newton's Second Law "The external force acting on a body is proportional to the product of its mass and the acceleration produced by the force" That is. Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-5 . If a net (or unopposed) force is applied to a mass it will cause a certain acceleration. mass and acceleration. meaning the amount of force required to accelerate a I kg mass at the normal gravitational rate of I 'g'. If the mass is increased. On the surface of the moon. while the mass of our I kg block of cheese would remain unaltered. such as the SI system. the mass of an object does not vary-unless something is physically done to change it. we can say: W=mg (where W =weight. A !kg block of cheese is a !kg block of cheese whether it is on the earth or on the moon. F oc rna. All objects positioned within the earth's gravitational field are attracted toward the centre of the earth by a force which we call weight. However. if the force is increased but the mass remains the same. From Newton's Second Law (F = rna). For all practical purposes however. an object's weight on or near the earth's surface will be: Weight (inN) =mass (in kg) x 9·81 (m/s 2 ) It can be seen from this equation that a I kg mass has a weight of 9·81 newtons. or alternatively say that g-(an acceleration of 9·81 m/s 2)-is equivalent to I 'g' we can then say: Weight in kilograms force (kg/f) = mass in kilograms (kg). it is taken to be constant at all places on or near the surface of the earth. the acceleration will be greater. The force (i. weight) which is required to produce that constant acceleration therefore varies depending on the mass of an object. a !kg mass weighs about 0·16 kg/f. at that point. (F = ma).000 km the strength of the earth's gravitational field is approximately halved and. No matter where it is taken in the universe. The magnitude of this force of gravity (or weight) depends on the mass of an object and its distance from the centre of the earth. At an altitude of about 2. The strength of the earth's gravitational field varies slightly around the surface of the globe and decreases very slightly as normal flying altitudes are gained. Newton's Second Law can be written as: Force= mass x acceleration. m =mass.

• g is the acceleration due to gravity. 3 'g' is 3 times the normal acceleration of gravity- and so on. Momentum is often confused with inertia. there is an equal and opposite reaction. in newtons. The reaction to the push you apply in one direction will 1-6 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . 9·81 m/s 2 • Note the difference between the terms g and 'g' and be careful with your use of them. to stand and push against a wall with your hands. Newton's Third Law "For every action. When we use the term 'g' we mean an acceleration which is n times greater than the normal acceleration due to gravity. those objects are moving and one has a higher velocity it will have a greater resistance to being stopped. This is a reasonable assumption at or near the surface of the earth. for example. Sometimes however. in kg/f-the same as its mass in kilograms. we must be careful to distinguish between the two and it is as well to keep in mind that there is an essential difference between kilograms weight (a force) and kilograms (mass). where a I kg mass will weigh I kg/f-or very close to it. i. but this time with a pair of roller skates on. Imagine doing the same thing again. and each will be just as difficult to stop or to turn away from a straight-line course. Note that from the above definition a stationary object with no velocity has no momentum (although it retains its inertia). • 'g' (with inverted commas) is a term which can be applied to any acceleration. If you were. If however.e. A large mass with low velocity can have the same momentum as a small mass with high velocity. an equal reaction force will be experienced in the opposite direction. To simplify matters further (or perhaps to confuse the issue) we often refer to weight in kg (as opposed to kg/0 and hence the unit 'kilogram' is commonly used to measure both mass and weight. slowed down or being turned because it has greater momentum (and not solely because of its inertia). momentum = mv The term momentum refers to the difficulty of stopping a moving object. and two objects with the same mass have the same inertia. As we have seen previously. (without inverted commas) we mean an acceleration of 9·81 m/s 2 . When we use the term g. inertia is solely a property of mass.9·81 times its mass in kilograms. Increased mass and/ or increased velocity means an increase in momentum. On or near the earth's surface an object will weigh: . A person subjected to an acceleration of 2 'g' will feel twice as heavy as his or her normal weight. . it is taken to be constant at 9·81 m/s'. For example 2 'g' means an acceleration which is twice as great as gravity (or 2 x 9·81 m/s 2). Momentum The momentum of an object is the product of its mass and velocity. For all masses on or near the earth's surface. I 'g' ." If a force is applied to an object. the wall would push back against you with the same force which you were using. or of changing its direction of travel. To summarize: • Weight is the force which gravity exerts on an object. the normal acceleration of gravity.

I I I I rate of turn or angular velocity depends on -vr Fig. Radial acceleration is given by v2/r and. a force must be applied to accelerate it toward the centre of the curve. I-4 shows an object in motion on a curved path. a force must be applied toward the centre of the curve.-and. where direction is continually being changed. and therefore that m = Wig. so is the reaction to it. The turning force and the resulting acceleration are directed along the radius (r) of the curve toward the centre. Fig. not normally show the reaction forces. Again substituting.. For an object to follow a curved path. Any motion on a cmved path. centripetal force may be calculated by: CPF = m x v2/r It is usually more convenient to express this equation in terms of weight. This radial force is called centripetal force (CPF). that all forces are paired with a reaction. This type of engine works on the principle of moving a stream of gases at a high-velocity in one direction to achieve a useful reaction force (thrust) in the other. It is as well to keep in mind however. but it is simply that-a reaction.force you to move in the opposite direction. this time for mass in the above equation. Motion on a Curved Path A significant proportion of almost every flight is taken up with turning or otherwise manoeuvring the aircraft on a cmved path. rather than mass. although it should be obvious. substituting in the equation F = rna. And. In vector diagrams showing forces in later chapters we will. Once the primary force is removed or altered. Another example of Newton's Third Law of 'action and reaction' is seen in the operation of the jet engine. an object is subjected to an acceleration if its velocity-either its speed and/or direction-is changed. 1-4. Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-7 .. the harder you push the greater the reaction you would experience in the opposite direction. We know that W = m x g. If any object (including an aircraft) is to follow a curved path. of course. As has already been discussed. the expression for centripetal force then becomes: Wv ' CPF= gr velocity force required toward centre of turn (v) Wv' gr . for simplicity. therefore involves acceleration regardless of whether speed is also changing. The direction of its velocity vector (v) at any instant is tangential to the curve. reactive forces cannot exist alone.

This equation for centripetal force is used when considering the factors involved in turning an aircraft or manoeuvring it in the vertical plane such as during a pull- out from a dive. -- -- . particularly of the forces acting on an aircraft. resultant resultant Two (or more) vectors acting in different directions can be combined into a single resultant by drawing them with the tail of one vector connected to the head of another. centripetal force must also be increased if the same rate of turn is to be maintained. the resultant may be found by drawing a parallelogram (Fig. It can be seen that to turn the aircraft or to pull out of a dive at a given radius... The rate of tum (or the rate at which the direction of the aircraft is changing) is also sometimes a consideration.:nt res·' -. 1-Sb). 1-Sc. Vector Addition and Subtraction Two (or more) vectors acting in the same direction can be combined by adding or subtracting them as appropriate to give a single resultant (Fig. 1-Sa). Vectors Vector diagrams are frequently employed in explanations of the Principles of Flight. 1-Sa. as weight and or velocity are increased. The following few simple rules for handling vectors will help in interpreting those diagrams. We will be revisiting this equation for CPF when we consider the factors involved in turning and manoeuvring in more detail in a later chapter. - ----u-..\ta "" ' ' B B 1-8 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . The resultant is the vector which can be drawn from the tail of the first. 1-Sb. it can be seen that as velocity is increased. g-the normal acceleration due to gravity- can be considered to be a constant. In these situations. The resultant is formed by the diagonal which originates from the intersection of the component vectors. so must the centripetal force which must be generated. The rate of turn depends on the ratio v/r which is a part of the equation for CPF. 1-Sc). At a given aircraft weight..nt . to the head of the last (Fig. A +B A -B Fig. A __ ::p Fig.t." resu. B B A A Fig. c resultant Where two vectors can be drawn as acting from the same point.

Fig. The strength of a moment is given by \J)r--------------.the relationship of (a) to (h) is given by a = h cos a. cosine (cos). Moments and Couples A moment is a turning force about a pivot or turning force point. it is given by o = h sin a. ·f-- '' 2 I ' I '' ' component A-! It ' I I I component A-\ .Resolving Single Vectors Any single vector can be resolved into two components which are at right angles to each other. the only requirement being that the vector must be included within the right angle. In the Sl system. Similarly. as shown at Fig. 1-6. .. The precise figures can be determined by looking up the trig tables for the angle (a) involved. Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-9 . 1-5d. 1-5e. Of note however is that the cosine of small angles (up to about 15°) is very close to 1. and tangent (tan) are simply numbers representing the ratios between the length of the different sides of a right-angle triangle.. 1-Se.. ~. the moment of a • I force is measured in newton metres (N-m). as shown at Fig 1-Sd. You will moment6 Nm 2N also see moments expressed in kilogram-millimetres (kg-mm)-particularly in aviation where the weight and balance of an aircraft is concerned. in which case when such small angles are involved.~~: the product of the force and the perpendicular 1__I I distance (called the arm) between its line of action I I and the pivot point. the length of side (a) can for practical purposes be taken to be the same as side (h).. Other terms used for a turning force are torque pivot point 1 1 A---.1 omponent B component B Use of Trigonometric Functions Trigonometric (trig) functions are sometimes used to describe the relationship between vectors and their components. and (o) to (a) by the equation o = a tan a.. Note that the components can be drawn in any direction to suit. distance 3m and leverage. 1 . ratios of sides depend on the size of the angle a and are given by: opposile (o) 0 a sin a= h cosa=- h tan a= a 0 If for example. The moment of a force. The t1ig functions sine (sin). we wish to know the relationship between the component (o) and the vector (h) in the triangle illustrated above. Fig. Fig. . y.

An object is in rotational equilibrium when it has no angular acceleration and the sum of all the moments acting on it is also zero. ~------------- 1 ~ I ~~ B I ">)!. 1-10 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . all of the 'clockwise' moments must be balanced by the 'anti-clockwise' moments-or. For. B ~ ~ ~ A A c c Fig. 1-8. the resultant of forces A and B is equal and opposite to force C.Again.. The sum of the forces is therefore zero and the object is in equilibrium. At first sight. usually referred to as distance 2m moment torque.. will be produced. A couple consists of two equal but opposite 2N parallel forces When the forces of a couple act around a point mid-way between the force two. 1-7. they may appear to be unbalanced but. If the forces involved in a moment or couple can be made to change their direction as the object turns. The torque (or torque) produced is the product of one of the forces i 4Nm pivot and the perpendicular distance between the two. if a torque exists in one direction. When applied to an object. Note that the state of equilibrium does not necessarily mean that the object is at rest. although the object in question may be staying in one place or travelling with a constant velocity. or not rotating at all. (a) (b) The foregoing describes the conditions for translational equilibrium. in the Sl system. provided that they are not counteracted by moments or couples which act equally in the opposite direction. The moment of a couple.. All that the statement of being in equilibrium tells us is that the object is not accelerating. the rotmy motion can be made to continue. The object represented at Fig.. 1-8 could well be moving at a steady speed in any direction. it is possible for it to be rotating at the same time. it must be balanced by a torque in the opposite direction.. 1-8 (a) shows three forces acting on an object in different directions. in other words. Equilibrium An object in a state of rest or moving at a constant velocity is said to be in a state of equilibrium. Fig.. 2N Fig. both moments and couples will cause rotation about the pivot. a turning force. In these circumstances the sum of all the forces acting upon it is zero-no net force will exist to cause it to accelerate. as indicated at Fig. torque is force measured in N-m. 1-8 (b). It is also important to consider whether an object may be in rotational equilibrium. It will either be rotating at a constant rate. For this to occur. as is achieved for example by the connecting rods/crankshaft in a piston engine.

For balance. the torques acting on the object must be in balance. we have assumed the weight of the beam to be negligible!) i . 1-10. engine torque A second example of rotational equilibrium is given at Fig. torque~ from drag 1-1 0 which depicts an aircraft propeller which has a constant rate of rotation (constant revolutions per minute- or rpm). The weight of an object can be taken to act throught its CG. For the rpm to remain constant.Fig 1-9 shows a beam which is balanced on a pivot point. (For simplicity. it will balance and not rotate. the rpm will increase or decrease depending on which of the two is the stronger. Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-11 . the torque produced by the engine and transmitted through the hub of the propeller must be balanced by the torque produced by the air resistance (or drag) on the propeller. a moment will exist and the object will not balance. object suspended from CG with horizontal displacement / !/ and point between CG of suspension no turning X 1 a moment will exist moment I weight Fig. For constant rpm. If an object is suspended from its CG (or a point directly above it). clockwise moments must equal anti- clockwise moments. 1-9. If these torques are not in balance.J---2m ------+1 anti-clockwise clockwise moment moment 2Nm 2Nm Fig. If the suspension point (or some other pivot point) is displaced horizontally from the CG. We see that this is the case in the diagram-the weight of 2 newtons acting at a distance of I metre from the pivot point produces an anti- clockwise moment of 2N-m which is the same as the clockwise moment produced by the weight of I newton acting at a distance of 2 metres from the pivot. clockwise moments must equal anti-clockwise moments. Centre of Gravity (CG) The weight of an object can be tal<en to act through its centre of mass-more often called the centre of gravity (CG).1 m --. Fig. 1-11. For the beam to be in balance (or in rotational equilibrium).

by applying force to a mass of air and accelerating it rearward. work done fx d power= = time taken t In the Sl system. In an aircraft engine for example. Kinetic Energy Kinetic (or dynamic) energy is the energy due to motion. work = force x distance moved in the direction of the force. the greater the thrust which will be generated as a result. energy must be converted from one form to another. The watt is a fairly small unit so.e. we normally use units numbering thousands of watts. Work Work is done when a force moves an object through a distance. All aircraft engines regardless of type 'do their work'. Not surprisingly. and is measured by the equation: kinetic energy = %mv' 1-12 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . If F is the force in newtons and d is the distance in metres. light and sound. Every moving mass has kinetic energy and therefore the capacity to do work. when the fuel is burned. One watt = one joule per second. Energy comes in many forms-chemical. When work is done. the work done in Nm or joules (symbol J) is: W =fxd One joule of work is done when a force of I newton moves an object through a distance of I metre. the chemical energy stored in it is converted to heat. we are concerned with two kinds of energy-kinetic energy and potential energy. The greater the power which can be produced by the engine and effectively applied to moving a mass of air rearward. or kilowatts (kW). Energy Energy is the capacity to do work. Engine power is a very important determinant in the performance of aircraft. i. power is measured in watts (symbol W). when we refer to the power of an engine. In this manual. a fmward thrust force is generated (in accordance with Newton's Third Law) which propels the aircraft in a fmward direction. The amount of kinetic energy which it has depends on its mass and its velocity relative to the object which it is able to 'work on'. electrical and so on-the list is seemingly endless. Power Power is the rate at which work is done. As a result. A large proportion of the heat energy is then converted into mechanical energy to provide the thrust force as described in the previous paragraph. it is measured in the same units as work-joules.e. We will be considering engine power in more detail in later chapters. in effect. mechanical. i.

(y) line graph. The line on the graph is for a constant 50 kph and. tracing vertically upward until the ~ 6 / line is met. Potential Energy Potential energy is the energy of position.!'! 2 relationship exists between the variables. The relationship between the two variables is then drawn in the form of a straight line or a curve on the graph. 1-12 gives an example of a simple straight. we will not be showing actual values on either axis-but merely indicating that values increase upward on the y-axis and to the right on the x-axis. The type of graph most commonly employed indicates the value of one variable (usually the dependent or uncontrolled variable) on a 'vertical' axis called they- axis. "0 time. If the velocity of a moving object is doubled. Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-13 . The "0 steepness (or gradient) of the line gives an indication of how rapidly the relationship between the variables is changing. the distance travelled after a given time is greater Fig.!!! / on the x-axis. is a dashed line representing a time in minutes speed of I 00 kph. and then across to the y-axis to read _g ------. Note the squared relationship between velocity and kinetic energy. to determine how E far one would travel at that speed after a certain c. everyday examples of kinetic energy abound. Evety time there is a collision between those objects. Fig. than at 50 kph. Use of Graphs Graphs are employed extensively in this manual to demonstrate the relationship of one variable against another. As in this case. 1-12. In most cases. Also shown 10 20 30 40 at Fig. work is done-and it is not always useful! The kinetic energy of a falling mass is utilised in a pile driver-the heavier the weight and the greater the velocity at impact the further the pile will be driven in (more work will be done). and the gradient of this line on the graph is steeper. it can be made to flow under its own weight. and the value of the independent (or controlled) variable on a 'horizontal' axis called the x-axis. Q) 4 / () / straight-line graphs originating from zero at the c: intersection of the axes indicate a direct l9 . by being directed through a turbine and used to generate electrical power. in this case of distance travelled against (or versus) time.---------+ off the distance travelled. Because of its position. As you would expect. Graph of time vs distance. Water stored at altitude (in a high position) in a dam has gravitational potential energy. its kinetic energy and its ability to do useful work (or damage) will be quadrupled. The following is a brief introduction to interpreting and using graphs for those who may not have had that experience. The gradient of the line or shape of the cutve is obtained from an equation or by plotting the results of an experiment (or empirically). An aircraft at altitude also has gravitational potential energy which can be readily converted into kinetic energy and allow it to maintain flying speed in a descent with little or no power from the engine.In a world which is full of fast moving objects. 1-12. gain kinetic energy and do work-for example. it is simply a matter of selecting the time .

fuel consumption A B speed A= speed for best endurance B = speed for best range Fig. A relationship can equally be established in the opposite direction by moving from they-axis across to the curve. Within this area. Note that on either side of the minimum consumption (or endurance) speed. there are two speeds which will achieve the same consumption. The curve will be typical of most cars which have been designed to have best fuel efficiency at moderate speeds. the gradient of the curve becomes markedly steeper. • Note that the curve is very 'flat' at the bottom. Most of the graphs in this manual will show curves instead of straight lines. Sample fuel consumption vs speed graph. 1-13. 1-14 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . indicating that the fuel consumption is changing more rapidly. there is a range of speeds over which there will be little difference in fuel consumption. then across. which represents fuel consumption versus speed for a certain car when it is being driven on a level road. • At high and low speeds. 1-13. and then down to the x-axis. Some points which have general application in interpreting this type of CUIVe are: • The lowest point of the cUive gives the driving speed which will achieve the lowest fuel consumption. This is the speed which would enable the car to remain driving on the road for the longest time before the fuel runs out. these curves will have been established empirically from experiments like wind- tunnel tests. • The speed which will give the greatest range-or greatest distance driven for the least amount of fuel used-occurs where a line drawn from the origin is tangential to the curve. An example of this type of graph is given at Fig. At any other point on the cUive. The rules for 'reading' these graphs are the same as has just been described-to establish a relationship between a variable on the x-axis with one on the y-axis simply move up to strike the curve. Often. the ratio between speed gained and fuel used (represented by the length of arrow x compared to the length of arrow y) will not be as good. indicating that the relationship between the variables is not a direct one.

....... .......... Newton's First Law states 'Every object continues in its state of .............. or of uniform ..... Mass is measured in .......... X ..... m/s 2 on all masses on or near to the surface of the earth..e.. This force is called ........ Most light aircraft engines are however........ 5.... attraction......................................... Sometimes... Newton's Second Law can be written as: Force = ..... and ... ... x ......... Weight is the ...' 12........ slowed down or stopped is called its . The units used in aviation are.. The SI unit for power is the ...................................... A person subjected to 3 'g' will feel ..... 9.. in a straight line unless acted upon by an external ........ Review 1 I......... ....................................... produced when an object (or mass) is acted upon by ..... ............ ...... ........... 7................. The SI unit for force is the . The formula for measuring the strength of this force toward the centre of the curve is given by CPF = -............... .... in an object....... I 7........... for navigational distance-........ Velocity is speed in a given .......................... 6.................... The resistance of a moving object to being turned............... Large masses have high . abbreviated to .... . ........... times heavier than his or her normal weight. .......... The tendency of an object to continue moving at a certain velocity. g is the normal acceleration of gravity. ... for altitude-... of .......... force..................... a force must be applied ..................... the term kilogram/force (kg/f) is used...... A scalar quantity has only .... 13... Acceleration occurs whenever there is a change in speed and/or direction........ ....... Principles of Flight Aeroscience 1-15 .................................................... ......... 14... ... the centre of the curve......... still rated in ... 8..... .... 'g' is another term given to any acceleration....... whenever there is a change in ... smaller masses have less ............... abbreviated to ........... .... ..... Newton's Third Law states that for every ........ measured by the product of its ........... .................... For an object to follow a cu1ved path.. 10...... 18.. A force is something which has the potential to cause an ... ... 19..... It causes an acceleration of .. i....... or remain at rest..... . A common definition of mass is that it is the .......... A vector quantity has both . is called .. 3..................................... ..... 4. .... One kg/f = ........ ........ N 2.............. ........ there is an equal and opposite ........ 15... 16.. and for speed-.............. II..........

....... energy and used to maintain flying .. Power is the .... / ~a 22. either at rest or moving with a constant velocity................. Sketch in the resultant of these two forces. 30......... What is the cosine of the angle A in this diagram? c force pivot point 23........ accelerating.. Kinetic energy (KE) is the energy due to . sketch in a vector representing the net force acting on the object.. 26. Work is done when a force moves an object through a .............. b. It is measured by the formula KE = ....... 20. / 21. What is the moment of the couple in the 4kg following diagram? 10N force distance 3m I pivot force 10N 25.. . at rest............... i........ and draw them in. energy.... ... Resolve this single vector into two components..... at which work is done..... 1-16 Aeroscience The Commercial Pilot Series . 28...... If the forces acting on an object are in equilibrium....e..... Power = = ----- 29....... c......... 27... Are the forces acting on the object in the following diagram in equilibrium? If not.... in a descent............. this means that it is: a... An aircraft at altitude has gravitational .. not accelerating.... d. which can be converted to . What is the moment of the force in this distance 500mm diagram-in kg-mm? 24...

However. At the same time. the molecules of any substance have a known. Density is a property which is difficult if not impossible to measure directly. A first step toward this understanding of aerodynamics is a good appreciation of the physical properties of the medium in which we fly-the atmosphere.about 1. you must have an understanding of the aerodynamic forces which act on your aircraft when it moves through the air. pressure and temperature. As an aircraft climbs. principally nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). The density of air at sea level is calculated as being about 1·225 kg/cubic metre. Air density. air included. In contrast. Other properties such as humidity and viscosity will also be covered briefly. of all the gases in air. Both are vital to the success of powered and manned flight! Density is the term used to represent the number of molecules and how closely they are packed into any given volume of a substance. there are many. At altitude (as we will discuss in more detail shortly). it alone sustains the power produced by the engine. we are concerned with the inter-related atmospheric properties of density. Density The air in the earth's atmosphere is comprised of a mixture of gases. the density of fresh water is 1000 ]{g/ cubic metre. However. and in physics the usual way of measuring density is by calculating the total mass contained in a given volume. and the life of the pilot. The density of a given solid or liquid remains constant for all practical purposes. By comparison. the density of any gas.225 kg mass on top of Mt. The proportion of the individual gases which constitute air is not important aerodynamically-all have equal value for the way in which they add to the density of the air. the density of the air in which it is flying decreases and the wings become increasingly less able to generate the lift required. oxygen indirectly has added significance in aviation for. dense air less dense air (many millions {fewer molecules per of molecules per cubic metre) cubic metre) at sea level .85 kg mass Fig.about 0. finite mass. The density of the surrounding air is the most important determinant of how well an aircraft and its engine can perform. there are fewer molecules of air in any given volume and it is therefore less dense. Cook. In the atmosphere near to the earth's surface. In this chapter. is variable. 2-1.The Atmosphere Introduction To become a capable pilot. many millions of molecules of air in (say) just one cubic metre. the power output of the engine reduces (from sea level if the engine is normally Principles of Flight The Atmosphere 2-1 .

e. molecules in pressure acts rapid and equally in all random motion directions t results in many millions of collisions per _ _ _. The Pascal is a fairly small unit. Pressure In a given parcel of air there are countless millions of molecules. metre or approximately 0·102 kg/f/sq..... .. Before flight. and which. Air pressure. metre).. i. 2-2..\: which adds up to a considerable second \ ' '- ___ . To do that we need to know the prevailing air density... The total force acting on a given area is called pressure. as already discussed. each molecule exerts a tiny pressure on that surface. an altitude will be reached where the density of the air becomes too low to sustain airborne flight.. when considered together. They are pressure and temperature. 1 /+ '. Millions of air in still air. As aircrew. Ultimately. so. in the Sl system of units. for convenience in aviation spheres.. Fortunately. the scientific method of measuring and comparing different densities in terms of mass/cubic volume is unsuited to practical application in aviation. I / I force called pressure Fig.. we often need to be able to predict how well our aircraft and its engine(s) will perform. The sum of the forces exerted by many millions of molecules constantly colliding with and rebounding from a given surface can add up to a total force which is quite considerable.. (One Pascal = I newton/ sq. ___ .. continuously bouncing back and forth. / I I \ ' '. Each of these molecules is in continuous motion-vibrating and moving about at high speed in a random fashion. metre or Pascals.. we need to have a much more immediate method of measuring air density. However. 2-2 The Atmosphere The Commercial Pilot Series . The situation can be compared to that of a container full of tiny fast-moving tennis balls.. hundreds of Pascals. density is practically impossible to measure directly. provide a good indication of the prevailing air density. is measured in newtons/sq. atmospheric pressure is normally measured in hectoPascals (hPa). there are two related properties of the air which are easy to measure.. which. aspirated-from some higher altitude if it is supercharged). When they come close enough to a solid surface to collide with it. In addition.

pressure is a good indicator of density. the force with which they collide with a solid surface will increase. 2-4a. its molecules-given greater kinetic energy-will move further apart and it will expand. if a parcel of uncontained air is cooled it will contract and its density will increase. Hence. The more dense the air. its pressure will fall. fewer molecules higher pressure lower pressure Fig. Under these conditions. If heat is transferred to air. Principles of Flight The Atmosphere 2-3 . the heated air is not contained. 2-3. its temperature will rise and. 0 Air heated in a container. if the heated air is confined in a container and is unable to expand. In two parcels of air with the same temperature. the 'parcel' of heated air will continue to expand until its pressure is equal to that of the surrounding air. the one which has greatest density. Temperature Temperature is a measure of how much energy the molecules of a substance have-of how fast they vibrate. the more molecules there are to collide with the surface and to generate pressure as a result. dense air less dense air more molecules . but to more accurately determine the density of air we must also take its temperature into account. with more kinetic energy. Conversely. density remains constant If however. Fewer molecules will be present in the original volume and its density will decrease. The relationship between temperature and pressure. Conversely. has the higher pressure. Fig. its molecules will become more 'excited'. its pressure will rise even though its density (the number of molecules contained) will have remained constant. Hence.The amount of pressure exerted by air on a solid surface depends in the first instance on its density. unable to expand pressure rises. A high air pressure indicates a high density. if heat is lost from the air in the container.

That is. o In different masses of air with the same pressure. it is generally accepted that the atmosphere extends to about 500 miles from the earth's surface.000 ft -25o/o /4 by 34.000 ft. These layers can be several thousand feet in depth.41 . in the troposphere. Note that: • About 75% of the total mass of the atmosphere is contained in the troposphere. This part of the atmosphere is comprised of the troposphere and (usually) the lower part of the stratosphere. all decrease with altitude. the temperature stops decreasing and becomes isothermal in a layer which extends well up into the stratosphere. Pressure and Temperature in the Atmosphere The atmosphere is a blanket of air surrounding the earth which is held in place by gravity. a layer of air may be encountered where the temperature remains constant (in an isothermal layer) or increases with altitude (in an inversion layer). i. In the troposphere-the first layer of the atmosphere-pressure. The atmosphere is recognised as having several layers where different conditions exist.QQQ ft 1 • As already mentioned.10. At an altitude called the tropopause.000 ft -50% 1/2 by 18. Density. density. Occasionally however. The relationship between temperature and density. temperature also normally decreases with altitude. Although there is no strictly defined outer limit.-where all commercial flying takes place. pressure and density are generally reduced respectively to: -7596 % by 8.-below an altitude of about 60. Fig.000 ft. By comparison with their sea-level values. 0 Uncontained air expands when heated density decreases To summarise thus far. 2-4b. The 2-4 The Atmosphere The Commercial Pilot Series .e.22. The weight of the air in the outermost reaches bears down on the air nearer the surface and compresses it. that with the lowest temperature has the highest density. As a result the air nearest the surface is the most dense. that with the highest pressure has the highest density. and (normally) temperature. In this discussion we will be confining ourselves to the lower part of the atmosphere. the density of air is related to both its pressure and temperature such that: o In different masses of air with the same temperature. below an average altitude of some 36.

The !SA is a hypothetical set of atmospheric conditions which represents an average of the conditions experienced world-wide. !SA conditions assume: • a sea level pressure of 1013-2 hPa. QQ Q_ft_ v about 30.. To provide a yardstick against which the continually varying atmospheric conditions can be compared. Among other things..000 ft -------- pressure and density reduced to 3. • a sea level temperature of + 15'C.. with pressure decreasing with altitude at rapid rate initially (about 1 hPa every 30 ft to 5000ft). and at a lower rate thereafter.tropopause forms the 'boundary' between the troposphere and the stratosphere. Principles of Flight The Atmosphere 2-5 .2~. decreasing at a uniform rate of 1·98'C/1 OOOft to -56·4' Cat the tropopause (set in the lSA at 36. Above the tropopause. value Fig.090 ft). temperature (usually).QQQ_f!_ - pressure and density and density all decrease reduced to %S.L. and of predicting aircraft performance. decreasing with altitude (like pressure) at a rapid rate initially. The ISA also provides the means for calibrating and setting altimeters. (For a more detailed explanation of the atmosphere. atmospheric conditions around the earth are not uniform and are continually changing.000 ft over the equator. /'\ ~-\ to about 50 km 1\ I \ ' I~ the I I up to 60. It is not always clearly defined but it occurs at an altitude of about 30. see our companion book "Meteorology for Professional Pilots" which is a part of this series).000 ft (poles) pressure and density reduced to % S. pressure and density continue to decrease with altitude. 2-5. an International Standard Atmosphere (!SA) has been devised..L.4 S.10. The pressure.L. Features of the atmosphere.3_± ::__4. Owing to different amounts of solar radiation received at the surface.!.000 ft I . stratosphere (equator) pressure and density decrease temperature remains constant 6 tropopause - I ' at about . _1§::. value at about 8. temperature and density conditions of equatorial. and at a lower rate thereafter. • a sea level density of 1·225 kg/m 3 . polar and mid-latitude air masses are quite different and they change with the seasons and as different weather systems move around the globe. at about pressure. value.000 ft over the poles increasing to a maximum of about 60.

the temperature and pressure effects on density can.._ . .. 2-6... depends on which effect is the stronger-and for that you will normally need to have performance charts. a high pressure tends to increase air density but if. .. slower slower steady reduction reduction reduction (1 ·98°C/ 1OOOft) rapid reduction The actual conditions existing at any one time and at any one place on the globe will very rarely exactly match those of the !SA. The !SA is nevertheless an important benchmark. Atmospheric density and hence. in some circumstances.. 2-6 The Atmosphere The Commercial Pilot Series . The International Standard Atmosphere... • A high pressure will indicate high density and better performance .. .''. For example... '' '' '' ''' ''' ''' reduces :' :' reduces:' '~ constant:' 3 '' '' '' ~ogo--'-"'--=""0 --~-... will vary under the influence of pressure and temperature as follows: • A high temperature will indicate low density and poorer performance .. • Low pressure + high temperature = worst density and worst performance conditions. this will tend to lower its density. _. Whenever we fly.: -:::. ... or be able to work out what the prevailing density altitude is. the temperature of the air is high. • A low temperature will indicate high density and better performance . ~' - Fig. performance. we should be aware of how much the existing meteorological conditions vary from the !SA 'standard'..... Putting temperature and pressure effects together: • High pressure + low temperature = best density and best performance conditions... ~ ::. Remembering that it is the density of the air which matters we must therefore take account of the way in which it changes as the temperature and pressure vary with different weather conditions..tropopause--__:_ ' ~--~""'. counteract one another. · As can be seen from the above. • A low pressure will indicate low density and poorer performance ... . for this will give an indication of the performance we can expect from our aircraft.. _. Just what the end result will be.r''.. at the same time.

Successive layers of air above that very bottom layer will be slowed down by decreasing amounts. the amount of water vapour in the air does not make a significant difference to its density. When actual atmospheric pressure and temperature conditions differ from ISA. The methods of calculating density altitude are covered later in chapter 17 Performance. and if we wish to know how well an aircraft will perform under actual conditions.Density Altitude Density altitude is the altitude in the ISA which has the same air density as the actual altitude. as warm air can contain much more water vapour than cold air. air which contains no water vapour (water in the form of a gas). the layer of molecules in immediate contact with that surface will be brought to a standstill (or nearly so) because of its viscosity (or 'stickiness). Humidity The hypotheticallSA is based on d1y air-i. Density altitude is a theoretical altitude which is used as a yardstick for measuring performance. the calculation of density altitude is normally incorporated in the appropriate performance charts. usually not much more than a millimetre or so. ranging up to 20mm depending on conditions. If actual conditions are the same as ISA. In normal conditions. at high temperatures and high humidity. When water vapour mixes with air. at the same temperature and pressure. However. then density altitude will be some higher or lower figure than actual altitude. When air moves across a perfectly flat plane surface. It may be hard to imagine air. the real atmosphere almost always contains some water vapour. in more detail later. enter these in the charts to obtain density altitude: or • use the navigation computer to work it out: or • do a manual calculation. (as they normally do). (a rare event). having any viscosity-but it does. However. hence. then density altitude will be the same as actual altitude. Water vapour molecules have less mass than the molecules of the 'd1y' air they have displaced. Principles of Flight The Atmosphere 2-7 . are based on ISA (theoretical) conditions. and either. some of the molecules of the other gases are displaced. with relative humidity usually ranging between 20 - 80%.e. This layer of retarded air is called the boundaty layer- it is generally not very thick. we must know the prevailing (or forecast) temperature and pressure at the altitude we are concerned with. less obvious in thinner fluids like water. by an amount depending on how much the prevailing pressure and/or temperature conditions differ from ISA. Viscosity is patently obvious in thick fluids like treacle or heavy oil. For most aircraft operations. thin as it is. until the point is reached where the effect of viscosity is no longer felt. Viscosity in air plays an important part in aerodynamics and that is the reason for mentioning it here. Aircraft performance charts (or graphs). the reduction in density may become significant. Viscosity Viscosity is the tendency for the molecules of a fluid (a gas or a liquid) to 'stick together' and to cling to any solid surface they come in contact with. moist air is less dense than dry air. We will be discussing the effects of viscosity. or skin friction.

.............. They are .. a steady rate up to the tropopause............ ft over the equator.. you would expect the air density to be (higher/lower) than normal....... b..000 ft... ......10..ft over the poles to a maximum of about ..... 2-8 The Atmosphere The Commercial Pilot Series .. 'C) up to the tropopause which is assumed to be at about.... to .. If atmospheric temperature is normal.. I 0....... If atmospheric pressure is about normal.. at a rapid rate initially. By comparison with sea-level values...................... you would expect the air density to be (higher/lower) than normal. 'C (or approximately... the density of fresh water is . but the pressure is high..... which is vital to aerodynamic and engine performance...... The International Standard Atmosphere (!SA) sea-level: a........ 6.. !SA conditions assume: a... c... a pressure lapse rate of . 7. b..... 4....... . ........ kg/cubic metre. 3.... .. . In actual atmospheric conditions.... 2.... to . Air density.. pressure is ... hPa for every ..... The density (or mass) of air at sea level is about .. b.. a uniform temperature lapse rate of... 9................... temperature is .. % by 18-22.. but the temperature is high........... b.. c at a rate which is solely dependent on pressure. 'C.. Atmospheric air density reduces at: a... In aviation..... kg/cubic metre...... and then at a reducing rate as altitude is gained...... % by 8..000 ft.000 ft........... .... By contrast.000 ft.... Fortunately... there are two other properties of air which give a good indication of air density and are easy to measure.. abbreviated to . Review 2 I. feet..... and ........ 5...... % by 34-41...... ft gain in altitude from sea-level up to about 5........ pressure and density in the atmosphere are generally reduced: a.... the altitude of the tropopause varies between about ... hPa................ to ..... is difficult to measure directly... atmospheric pressure is normally measured in ..... 8...

By comparison with !SA conditions. which has the same density as the actual altitude. and therefore (better/poorer) performance.II. At one. the air is very dry... and therefore (betteiipoorer) performance. a low temperature will indicate (high/low) density... Aircraft performance will be better at the (dry/humid) location. humidity is high.. and therefore (better/poorer) performance. and therefore (better/poorer) performance. The worst density (and therefore performance) conditions are those with a (high/low) pressure and (high/low) temperature. 12. Principles of Flight The Atmosphere 2-9 . 14. Two locations have the same atmospheric temperature and pressure. while at the other. c.. a low pressure will indicate (high/low) density.. d. The best density (and therefore performance) conditions are those with a (high/low) pressure and (high/low) temperature. which are used to rate aerodynamic and engine performance: a.. 15.. Density Altitude is the altitude in the . a high pressure will indicate (high/low) density. however. 13. a high temperature will indicate (high/low) density... b.

2-10 The Atmosphere The Commercial Pilot Series .

Basic Aerodynamic Theory Static Pressure The prevailing pressure at any point in the atmosphere is called static pressure. As its name implies. the movement distribution of pressure around the body is uneven. the distribution of pressure around the body will no longer be even. Dynamic Pressure When there is movement between a solid body and the air surrounding it. the freestream static pressure decreases with altitude. When there is no movement between a body and the air around it. As we saw in Chapter 2. When there is air movement between a body and the surrounding air. These differences in the pressure experienced are related to the kinetic (or dynamic) energy the air has by virtue of its movement. Fig. 3-2. This is the pressure which results from the weight of all the air above that point bearing down. Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-1 . A term often used in aerodynamics for the prevailing atmospheric pressure is freestream static pressure with the symbol p 00 used to denote it. while the pressures to the side and to the rear of the body are generally reduced. The word 'freestream' indicates the air conditions which exist well ahead of a body moving through the air. as yet unaffected by its passage. !f a solid body is immersed in the atmosphere and has no movement relative to the air around it. static pressure will be experienced equally on all of its surfaces. pressure is experienced equally on all surfaces. Fig. and the extra pressure (called dynamic pressure) which it is capable of exerting as a result. static pressure does not involve movement. 3-1. The surface pressures experienced in those areas facing into the airstream are increased above the freestream static value.

As will be discussed shortly. any movement of the diaphragm is indicated by the position of a pointer on the face of the instrument. pV'). 3-3. and orientation in the airstream. As shown in Fig. these two different pressures (total and static) are fed separately to each side of a diaphragm in the airspeed indicator. is nevertheless very important-all aerodynamic forces are proportional to it. The amount of energy which it has is calculated by: kinetic energy = 1/2 m V2 Air also has kinetic energy when it is moving-normally referred to in aerodynamics as dynamic energy. you will see it represented in equations by the symbolq. In some references. It is also used in a more general way to describe the amount of dynamic (or kinetic) energy contained in a moving airstream. The pressure which is present inside the tube is called total (or pilot) pressure and it complises the dynamic pressure caused by blinging the moving air to rest. By a suitable system of gearing. we can calculate the amount of dynamic energy in a moving mass of air as: dynamic energy= 1/2 pV' Where p= freestream air density and V = velocity of the airstream If this moving mass of air is stopped by a solid body and brought completely to rest.e: 3-2 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series . It is also measured by: dynamic pressure = /z pV' 1 The term 1/z pV' thus stands for 'the additional pressure imposed when air of a certain density moving at a given velocity is brought completely to rest'.e. pV' Static pressure is tapped from another point on the aircraft where. i. Measurement of Airspeed Dynamic pressure is utilised in the measurement of airspeed. (V. The symbol for density is the Greek letter p. within the instrument. The pressure which alises for this reason is called dynamic pressure and it is exerted on the body in addition to the ambient. from testing. it has been determined that the freestream static pressure is least affected by the passage of the aircraft through the air. The term for dynamic pressure. or prevailing static pressure.e: total (or pitot) pressure = freestream static pressure + dynamic pressure = Pw+ V. pronounced RHO. Any solid body which is moving has kinetic energy. i. A small amount of the air moving past the aircraft is brought to rest in a fmward-facing tube called the pitot tube. total pressure is compared with static pressure such that a reading for dynamic pressure (calibrated as airspeed) is obtained. The mass of air is measured by its density- i. the actual pressure distribution around wings (or other parts) of an aircraft also depends on other factors including size. shape. You will find that the term (spoken as half-rho-vee-squared) is used a lot in aerodynamics. If we substitute density for mass in the above equation. Hence. its mass per unit volume. the dynamic energy which it contains is converted to pressure energy. Vety little of the air moving past an aircraft in flight is 'brought completely to rest'. plus the freestream static pressure.

as follows: • Indicated Airspeed (lAS). Most AS!s are designed to measure dynamic pressure (V. they can be ignored. the prevailing density as compared with the standard sea-level density. the indicated airspeed will be different from the actual airspeed. TAS is usually calculated by using a navigational computer.) The Relationship Between Airspeeds Airspeed indicators are calibrated at lSA (or 'standard') sea-level density conditions. and as speed is increased the pilot tube will increasingly register a higher pressure than it should because the air becomes compressed. 3-3. but these instrument errors are usually so small that for all practical purposes. Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-3 . In practice. lAS which has been corrected for pressure {or position) error. where the relative density is one-quarter of the sea-level value. Hence an airspeed indicator (ASI) is simply a dynamic pressure gauge which is calibrated to read in airspeed (knots).static pressure = dynamic pressure which can be written as ( Poo + \1. they include the instrument error conection for the particular AS!. + static Airspeed indicator: principle of operation. • Equivalent Airspeed (EAS).. total pressure (dynamic + static). This difference (sometimes called density error) and other errors which arise in the airspeed indication system has given rise to a number of different terms for airspeed. the PEC at normal cruise speeds is also small and can under most circumstances be ignored. Flying at 40. pV 2) .000 ft under standard conditions. Air is compressible. the true airspeed {TAS)---of the aircraft through the air. • Calibrated Airspeed (CAS). Poo = Yz pV2 dynamic Fig. • True Airspeed (TAS). If the prevailing density at sea level happened to be standard-the same as in the !SA-the relative density would be I and EAS would be equal to TAS. There may be some difference between the indications registered by individual AS!s.p\12) on the assumption that air is incompressible. When the ambient (freestream) air density differs from standard sea-level conditions. the EAS would be half theTAS (the square root of •. is 1/z). (A more detailed coverage of the functioning of airspeed indicators is given in our General Aircraft Technical Knowledge manual which is a part of this series. When CAS is corrected for this compressibility error it becomes known as EAS. It is only under these conditions that the airspeed indicator will accurately indicate the actual speed-that is. The reading on the airspeed indicator (ASI). When pressure error correction (PEC) cards are displayed in the cockpit. TAS may be obtained by dividing the EAS by the square root of the relative density-i. In practice.e. Pressure error arises mainly from incorrectly sensing total and static pressure when the aircraft is in different flight attitudes.

For our purposes in this manual, of the foregoing airspeeds which we have
listed, there are two which are important-TAS and lAS.

• TAS is important in aerodynamics because it gives a measure of the actual
speed of a body relative to the freestream flow. The velocity factor, V, in the
dynamic pressure function 1/2pV2 is the true airspeed of the aircraft.

• lAS is important for two reasons. First, because it is the airspeed which is
most readily available to the pilot. Secondly, because the aerodynamic
forces which the pilot has at his disposal to fly and manoeuvre the aircraft
depend on it. At any given TAS, it is the indicated airspeed which gives a
measure of air density and thus how well the aircraft will perform. If at that
same TAS, air density is higher, this will be reflected by a higher lAS and
better performance. Hence we say that lAS is the 'aerodynamic' airspeed.

NOTE: Strictly speaking, EAS is the exact aerodynamic airspeed. However, the
error in assuming that lAS and EAS are the same-in other words that air is
incompressible-is very small. In the low-subsonic speed range (i.e. at speeds
up to about 40% of the speed of sound), this error amounts to less than 5% and is
usually much smaller.

Aerodynamic Force
An aerodynamic force is generated if a solid body is placed in a moving
airstream. This force originates mainly from the pressure distribution around the
body and, to a lesser extent, the friction between the body and the air. You can
experience this force for yourself if, for example, you hold up a large rigid sheet
in a strong wind. If the flat surface of the sheet is held more or less at 90' to the
wind, dynamic pressure is at its maximum and a considerable aerodynamic
force will be generated in the 'downwind' direction. If however, the sheet is
held with its edge facing the wind, the effect of the wind is considerably
reduced. There will still be some aerodynamic force on the sheet, caused by
dynamic pressure on the thin edge and skin friction between the air and the
broader surfaces, but it will be so slight as to be barely noticeable.

If you were then to tilt the into-wind edge of the sheet slightly upwards you
would create an angle of attack. A strong aerodynamic force would quite
suddenly reappear, but this time acting in an upward direction, almost at a right
angle to the wind. In a strong wind, this aerodynamic lifting force can be large
enough to overcome the force of gravity and the sheet is liable to take off.

wind direction ==i>

Fig.3-4. The aerodynamic force on a flat sheet being held in a wind.

It is this lifting capacity of large, relatively flat bodies inclined at a small angle to
an airflow, which enables airborne flight.

3-4 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series

Aerofoils
The wings and tail section (empennage) of an aircraft, which are designed to
produce useful aerodynamic forces, are called aerofoils. In the early
developmental stages of manned flight the aerofoils which were used were not
very different to the thin sheet we used in the example above. These earliest
aerofoils were of very light construction and were typically curved, with a convex
upper surface and a concave lower surface. The term used to describe this
overall curvature of aerofoil surfaces is camber.

It was discovered during the first World War that thicker cross-sectional
shapes-called sections-gave better lifting characteristics and, therefore, better
manoeuvrability. Another advantage was that greater strength could be built in
to a deeper cross-sectional shape. From about 1916 these thicker sections, with
a flat, or slightly convex lower surface began to be used and, although the
shapes of the general purpose aero foils in use today are similar in section, many
other aerofoil shapes have been developed to meet different requirements.
Broadly speaking, there are three classes of aerofoil section in use today-high-
lift, general purpose, and high-speed-as shown in Fig. 3-5.

high lift pre- 1916

general purpose high speed

Fig.3-5. Various classes of aerofoil section.

The wing sections used on training aircraft are usually of the general purpose
type. These are characterised by a rounded leading edge; a moderate amount
of curvature on the upper surface; and less curvature on the lower surface. The
sections used for the empennage (tailplane and fin) will generally be more
symmetrical, i.e. with equal curvature on both surfaces.

Aerofoil Nomenclature

The nomenclature used to describe aerofoil sections is:
• Leading edge: The edge facing into the airstream.
• Trailing edge: The edge at the 'downstream' side.
• Chord line: The straight line joining the leading and trailing edges.
• Chord: The distance between the leading and trailing edges, measured
along the chord line.
• Thickness: The depth of the aerofoil. On most aerofoils, the point of
maximum thickness is forvvard toward the leading edge, (usually at about 30
- 40% chord-i.e. of the distance back from the leading edge).
• Thickness/chord (tic) ratio: The maximum thickness of the aerofoil
expressed as a percentage of the chord. High lift aerofoils have a t/c ratio in
the order of 15-17%; general purpose aerofoils I 0-12%; high speed aerofoils
7%.

Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-5

• Camber: The curvature of a line drawn equidistant between the upper and
lower surfaces (the line of mean camber). Most aerofoils will therefore have
some camber, only symmetrical aerofoils are not cambered.

thickness mean camber line
\ ~
leading
edge
'0"'~~~U~~f~~~~~~-t
~ 4 t trailing
edge
chord line
-----chord-----------

Fig.3-6. Aerofoil nomenclature.

Angle of Attack
The angle of attack is the angle between the chord line and the relative air
flow (RAF). The RAF is that airflow which is remote from the aircraft and is
unaffected by its passage through it-i.e. the freestream airflow. (You should
note this latter point carefully. The airflow ahead of the wing usually changes
direction as the aircraft approaches, particularly at high angles of attack). The
relative airflow can be represented diagrammatically by a vector indicating
velocity and direction. The RAF vector is of the same magnitude but opposite
direction to the aircraft's flight path vector at any given moment.

relative air ftow angle of attack

Fig.3-7. Angle of attack.

NOTES:

1. The Greek letter alpha (a) is often used to denote angle of attack.

2. The angle between the RAF and the chord line as defined above is
sometimes also referred to as the geometric angle of attack.

3. In discussing aerodynamic theory, the subject is conventionally treated as if
the aerofoil is stationary and the air is moving-as it would be, for example, in a
wind-tunnel experiment. In reality, it is the aircraft which moves and the air
which is stationa1y (putting aside any turbulence which may be present in the
airmass). What matters is the relative motion between the solid body and the
air. Whether it is the aerofoil or the air which is moving makes no difference to
the resulting forces.

3-6 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series

Pressure Distribution
An aerofoil, placed in a moving airstream at a small angle of attack, parts the air
at the leading edge. The air then flows smoothly above and below the upper and
lower surfaces before being joined again at the trailing edge. Static pressure is
decreased in the region above the wing, and altered in the region below the wing.
The net effect of these pressure changes is to produce a force, mostly in the
upward direction but also inclined slightly toward the rear. This aerodynamic
force is called the total reaction (TR).

Most people, if asked to explain the origin of that force, would probably say it was
the result of a wedge of high pressure air being built up under the aerofoil. That
would however, be far from being a complete answer. Over the normal range of
operating angles of attack, the greatest contribution to the TR (and therefore
to lift) comes from a reduction in the static pressure over the upper surface.
Why is that so? For a more detailed explanation, we turn to Daniel Bernoulli
(1700- 82), a Swiss scientist who first described the principle involved.

Bernoulli's Theorem

Bernoulli's theorem states "In the streamline flow of an ideal fluid, the sum of the
energy of position, plus the energy of motion, plus the pressure energy, will
remain constant". We know, of course, the 'energy of motion' to be dynamic
energy. The 'pressure energy' is the amount of static pressure present and, when
applied in aerodynamics to the flow of air around an aerofoil, we can ignore the
'energy of position' (potential energy) because the changes caused to the height
of the air are so small. We can therefore reduce Bernoulli's theorem (or
principle) to:
Dynamic energy + static pressure = a constant; i.e.
Y2 pV2 + Pro = a constant

Air is compressible and has viscosity. For these reasons it is not an ideal fluid.
Bernoulli's principle can however be applied with a good degree of accuracy in
streamline airflows with a velocity of up to about 250 knots. In higher velocity
airflows the effects of compressibility and viscosity have to be increasingly taken
into account until, at speeds approaching the speed of sound, the Bernoulli
principle is no longer appropriate. (These effects are discussed in a later
chapter.)

Hence, we can apply Bernoulli's principle to the streamline airflows around an
aerofoil at the lower subsonic speeds and state with confidence that:
• wherever the speed of the airflow is increased, the air gains dynamic
energy and its static pressure is accordingly reduced, and conversely;
• wherever the speed of the airflow is decreased, the air loses dynamic
energy and its static pressure is increased-

Streamline Flow

If succeeding particles of air in an airstream follow the same steady and
predictable path, then this path can be represented by a streamline. There will be
no flow across the streamlines, only along them. Streamline flow can be
maintained provided the air particles flowing around or through a body can
change direction gradually and smoothly, and shapes designed to achieve this are
said to be streamlined. If the airflow is required to change its direction too
abruptly then the flow will 'break down' and become turbulent and unpredictable.
Bernoulli's principle applies only to streamline flow.

Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-7

Venturi Effect
A good example of the Bernoulli principle in
operation can be seen in venturi effect. A
venturi is a convergent-divergent duct. The
cross-sectional area of a venturi decreases
smoothly until a 'throat' is reached about one-
quarter of the way back from the entrance. It
then increases smoothly and more gradually Fig.3-8. A venturi tube.
toward the exit.

Placed in a steady stream of air, a properly designed venturi enables the volume
of air flowing into it over any given time span, to accelerate smoothly and pass
through the restriction of the throat in the same amount of time. Once it has
passed the throat, the air then decelerates to pass out through the exit at the
same speed as it entered. Wherever the air has a higher speed than the free
stream flow, it has gained dynamic energy and, accordingly, static pressure
is reduced. The greatest reduction in static pressure is experienced at the
throat of the venturi, where the increase in the speed of the flow is highest.

increasing speed decreasing speed
decreasing pressure increasing pressure
D - - - - - - ~----------- - , ' - - - - - +
D------
__
- - - - - - -.-.-11!-~-~~-~--:;---
..;..~---
.....
......
_ _ . J - 1 - - - ....

Fig.3-9.
Airflow through a venturi. ====.!--===~===:
---------1--1---·
====2-==-==~===!
D-------- -----·-~-~-~-;-~:;_;~~-~~
»--------~----------------+
lowest static pressure

Note that streamlines drawn for the flow through a ventmi indicate what is
happening to the static pressure. Where they converge, this indicates a lowering
of static pressure; where they diverge, this indicates static pressure is increasing
again. Where they are closest together, the reduction of static pressure will be
greatest. Converging streamlines do not indicate the air is being compressed. If
sufficient time is given for the flow to speed up and slow down, air resists being
compressed. At flow velocities in the low-subsonic range, there is 'sufficient
time' and the amount of compression which does occur is insignificant.

Airllow Around an Aerofoil
A streamline airflow around an aerofoil behaves in the same way as the flow
through a venturi.

reduced static pressure
~------------------1------------------~

Fig.3-10.
Airflow over an aerofoil
shape. ~11~1~~~~li"<>-;z~')"l"'>c,'.l_))))ii~
~-------------------------------------~
»- ___________ Jr~e~tc.ea01_SJC!.t~_pre..s§Y.r~- ________ _...
~--------------------- ---------------~

3-8 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series

Air moving over the aerofoil shape depicted in Fig. 3-10 must accelerate to pass
over the top surface. It therefore gains dynamic energy, and the static pressure in
that region is decreased. In effect, the aerofoil is acting as a 'half venturi', with the
air being forced to flow through a 'throat' comprised of the upper surface of the
aerofoil and more remote air above it. At the same time, air passing below the
aerofoil is not deviated from its path-there is no change in velocity and the static
pressure remains the same as for the free stream flow. With the pressure
distribution which exists under these circumstances, (lower above the aerofoil
than below it), a small force is generated (TR) which tends to move the aerofoil
toward the lower pressure area.

(This example se1ves to illustrate the fact that lift can be generated at zero angle of
attack, provided the curvature of the upper surface of the aerofoil is greater than
that of the lower surface. In the real situation however, the amount of lift normally
available at zero angle of attack is small, unless the aircraft is travelling at very high
speed!)

The following diagrams illustrate the effect of low-subsonic airflow around an
aerofoil section at various angles of attack. The section depicted is representative
of a general purpose (GP) aerofoil with streamlines drawn from those observed
when smoke streamers were generated in wind-tunnel tests.

The GP aerofoil sections used on general aviation aircraft are many and varied. In
general terms however, they will typically have a rounded leading edge; some
curvature of the lower surface; and a moderate amount of camber. The normal
operating angles of attack are usually between about 2" and 15". The following four
diagrams represent the airflows which may be expected at low, moderate, and
high angles of attack within this range, and at a little beyond the stalling angle. In
each case, the direction of the freestream relative airflow is shown so that the
direction of the streamlines can be compared with it. The areas in which the
pressure is lower than freestream static are depicted with a lighter shading and a
(-) symbol. Areas of higher pressure have a darker shading and a ( +) symbol.
These areas are sometimes referred to collectively as the 'pressure envelope'.

Fig. 3-11a.

a =4"

At low angles of attack (Fig. 3-11a), as the streamlines indicate, there is relatively
little disturbance of the airflow past the aerofoil. Ahead of, and slightly below the
leading edge, there is an area of higher pressure. Within this area, there will be a
point on the leading edge called the stagnation point where the flow is brought
completely to rest. There is another smaller area of slightly raised pressure around
the trailing edge. In accordance with Bernoulli's principle, there are areas of lower
pressure above and below the aerofoil with the upper area being more extensive.

Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-9

Fig. 3-11b.

Fig 3-11c.

As the angle of attack is increased (Figs. 3-11 b and 3-11 c) the airflow must
increasingly deviate from its path and accelerate to follow the contour of the
upper surface-particularly over the fmward part. As a result, the upper area of
low pressure moves forward. By the time an angle of attack of about I 0" is
reached, the area of lower pressure under the aerofoil has disappeared. At
higher angles, the area of high pressure forward of the leading edge spreads
toward the rear until it eventually covers the whole of the lower surface.

Fig. 3-11d.

a= 18"

3-10 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series

a greater pressure differential between the upper and lower surfaces of the aerofoil. This phenomenon is called upwash and it becomes more pronounced as angle of attack increases and there is. the air is able to sense the approach of an object through it and begin moving to take the path of least resistance. Vector diagram for an aerofoi/. Centre of Pressure (CP) The pressures existing at various points around an aerofoil can be measured and compared with the freestream static pressure. while those toward the surface indicate higher pressure. resultant (not to same scale) centre of pressure Fig. Upwash The streamlines indicate that the airflow turns upward ahead of the aerofoil.Beyond an angle of attack of about 15°. The airflow separates from most of the upper surface and the turbulent wake behind the aerofoil becomes greatly enlarged. We will be considering the effects of downwash in more detail in later chapters. As the preceding diagrams indicate. the low pressure envelope over the upper surface virtually collapses and becomes unpredictable as indicated in Fig. When it is exceeded. downwash must therefore exceed upwash. Vector directions away from the surface indicate lower pressure. 3-11 d. Such a vector diagram is shown at Fig. within the normal operating range. Downwash As the airflow passes the aerofoil. In the low-subsonic speed range with which we are mainly concerned. it is turned downward with respect to the freestream direction. 3-12. NOTE: The magnitude of the pressure changes occurring within the pressure envelope should not be exaggerated. Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-11 . which cause the air particles to move toward the area of lowest pressure. The angle at which this occurs is called the critical (or stalling) angle. Downwash is an inevitable consequence of lift production-a mass of air must be moved in a given direction to produce a lift force in the opposite direction. This movement of the affected air is called downwash and it extends for some distance behind the aerofoil. Pressures below the aerofoil continue to increase with angle of attack as more of the lower surface is presented toward the oncoming airflow. the change in direction around the leading edge and folWard upper surface becomes too abrupt and the airflow can no longer conform. downwash increases with angle of attack. as a result. The magnitude of the measured differences in pressure from freestream static may then be represented by vectors drawn normally (at a right angle) from the aerofoil surface at those points. When an aerofoil is producing lift. the changes of pressure around the aerofoil are for the most part not more than one or two percent of the freestream static value. In effect. Upwash is generated by small pressure disturbances transmitted ahead of the aerofoil at the speed of sound. 3-12.

non-symmetrical) aerofoil. This resultant is of course the Total Reaction (TR) and it acts through a point within the aerofoil called the centre of pressure (CP). • as the stalling angle of attack is passed. 3-14. the CP is located at a point some 30 . As the stalling angle is passed. 3-14. 3-13. with a cambered (i. A graph of typical movement of the CP for a cambered aerofoil is given in Fig. the centre of pressure (CP) moves gradually forward with angle of attack.e. the CP moves rapidly rearward.e. 3-13. 3-13. 0 10 20 30 40 50 100 lt. With symmetrical aerofoils-such as may be used for the tail section of an aircraft-there is virtually no movement of the CP over the normal operating range of angle of attack and airspeed. 3-12 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series . 30 . TR 20' (stalled) Movement of the CP with Angle of Attack As can also be seen in Fig. Variation in TR with angle of attack.20% chord. The changes and magnitude and direction of the TR with angle of attack in a constant-speed airflow are shown at Fig. Note that: • the TR force increases with angle of attack and becomes more tilted toward the rear. the TR force suddenly reduces and becomes more markedly tilted toward the rear. 20 15 angle location of 10 ofCP Fig.40% chord ( i. The individual vectors can be combined into a single resultant which indicates the magnitude and direction of the aerodynamic force on the aerofoil under different conditions.l I I I I I IJ_i percent chord NOTE: The figures quoted in the preceding paragraph and the graph above must be regarded as a guide only. attack Movement of CP with angle of attack.40 % of the distance back from the leading edge). the CP will have moved forward to be located as far forward as 15 . as the actual location and movement of the CP with angle of attack depends to a large extent on the amount of camber and the specific shape of the aerofoil. At low angles of attack. The movement described is however generally true for a cambered aerofoil. TR Fig. As the stalling angle is reached.

of pressure . Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-13 . the lift force is used to oppose the weight of the aircraft and to provide the means of manoeuvring. while the drag force is the air resistance which opposes the aircraft's motion. Those two components are lift and drag. In flight. If that were the case. TR 1 LIFT I Fig.It is nmmal and more convenient to divide the TR into two component forces and consider them separately. hence the TR force is always tilted back at an angle to the relative airflow-albeit at a small angle when the aerofoil is operating efficiently. The total aerodynamic reaction centre I is resolved into two forces - lift and drag. By definition: • Uft is the component of the total reaction (TR) at a right angle (perpendicular) to the relative air flow. 3-15. • Drag is the component of TR parallel to the relative airflow and opposing motion. There must always be some drag if lift is being generated. I relative airflow Note that the total reaction force can never be at right angles to the relative airflow. it would mean that lift was being generated without any drag-the aerodynamic equivalent to perpetual motion.

..... where successive particles of air follow the same smooth path..... When applied to an airflow around an aerofoil shape....................... The airspeed indicator is simply a pressure gauge which measures .. In accordance with Bernoulli's Theorem: a... for practical purposes EAS can be taken to be the same as .............. 14.. Bernoulli's Theorem can be reduced to dynamic energy + static pressure = a .... position and compressibility errors are usually small in that speed range. All aerodynamic forces are proportional to EAS and therefore to .. are denoted by the term . Equivalent airspeed (EAS) is the exact measure of dynamic pressure ('/.......... pressure.......... chord line.... pressure. 4........... Pressure + ...... In flight below about 250 kts.. . where p = ....... 7........ an additional pressure called .......... 13....... 12........ 16... 3-14 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series .. 5...... wherever the speed of an airflow is increased..... b.......... p V2).............................. in low-subsonic speed flight 9. The atmospheric conditions existing well ahead of a moving body and as yet unaffected by its passage.. is called . pressure is imposed. 10............. Sketch a cambered aerofoil and show the relationship between the chord line........... andY= ........... 15... flow............ 8...... wherever the speed of an airflow is decreased.......... are called . ...... static pressure will be (increased/decreased)..... pressure... . ...... 3...... and point of maximum thickness. pressure... The prevailing pressure at any point in the atmosphere is called ..... line of mean camber..... Draw a typical cambered GP aerofoil section and annotate the trailing and leading edges.pV2 stands for .................... The term V........ A disturbed... The relative air flow (RAF) vector (is/ is not) equal and opposite to the aircraft's flight path vector at any given moment........ static pressure will be (increased/decreased). 6. Review3 I... but is calibrated to read in ...... unpredictable flow with eddying is called . The wings and tail section of an aircraft which are designed to produce useful aerodynamic forces. 11....................... Pitot (or total) pressure = ...... .... When moving air is brought completely to rest..................... given that instrument...... ............... A steady flow of air around a body............. 2............. RAF and the angle of attack... flow.. ....

.......... at a low angle of attack (about 4°)... ....... the centre of pressure (CP) moves (forward/ rearward) as angle of attack is increased until..... or ... Sketch the different areas of pressure which will exist around a typical cambered GP aerofoil. . Principles of Flight Basic Aerodynamic Theory 3-15 ........................ of .... placed in an airflow: a....... This angle is called the ........ 24....... ... the CP of a symmetrical aerofoil has (little if any/a lot of) movement..... 19.......... 21..... The resultant of all the aerodynamic forces acting on an aerofoil is called the ... b...................... On a cambered aerofoil....... upwash.... it moves more rapidly (forward/rearward)...... (TR).... The point on the leading edge at which the flow around an aerofoil is brought completely to rest is called the .. It acts through a point within the aerofoil called the ... To produce lift.. which is parallel to the RAF is called ........ passing the stalling angle...... which is perpendicular to the RAF is called . ... Over the normal operating range of speeds and angle of attack....... at a moderately high angle of attack (about 12°)..... 18.17............... point.... The component of the TR: a............ and b............ 22.. downwash must ..... 20.. angle.. the streamline flow around an aerofoil breaks down and separates from most of the upper surface.. ...... 23...... At an angle of attack of about 15°.....................

3-16 Basic Aerodynamic Theory The Commercial Pilot Series .

and • angle of attack. • shape of the wing-both in section and in planform. As we defined in the previous chapter. The greater the area that a given pressure differential can act upon. it can be shown that the magnitude of the total aerodynamic reaction (and therefore of the lift) generated by an airflow around a wing depends upon: • freestrearn air density (pool. Principles of Flight Lift 4-1 . Our focus here will therefore be on wing lift and we will not be considering the small amounts of lift which may be produced in some circumstances by the fuselage or the tailplane. and for practical purposes. lift is the component of total aerodynamic reaction which is perpendicular to the relative airflow. lift Introduction If an aircraft is to be capable of flying it must produce sufficient lift from its aerodynamic surfaces to both counteract its weight and enable it to manoeuvre. at airspeeds of up to about 250 knots. is for all practical purposes the measurement of lAS. This is the flight regime of most General Aviation aircraft. We therefore do not have to be concerned with the effects of compressibility. the planform area is used. In this chapter we look mainly at the factors affecting lift generated by a wing in a low subsonic airflow-i. • The effect of wing area (S) is straightforward. Lift is produced as a result of the pressure differential above and below the wing. This list may seem at first sight to be a little complicated but in practice it can be combined and reduced to three factors. Normal aircraft design is such that by far the greatest proportion of lift is produced by the wings. etc. and in which any errors in assuming air to be incompressible are negligible. as follows: • The freestream density and velocity are incorporated in the expression for dynamic pressure (1/2 pV2) which.e. Factors Affecting Lift General From many years of aerodynamic testing and flight trials. • condition of the surface-whether rough or smooth. as we saw in the previous chapter. • The remaining variables are combined into a single factor called the coefficient of lift (CJ. • freestream velocity (Vool: • size of the wing (S)-in aerodynamics. we can say that lAS equates with dynamic pressure. the greater the lift force that will be produced.

it stands for TAS ]. The Coefficient of Lift The coefficient of lift (CJ is simply a number-a multipliet~which depends on the shape and condition of the wing and varies as angle of attack is changed. where the wing area and aerodynamic section remain constant (i. provide what is called the lift formula: lift = CL 1 /2 pV' s [If a coherent system of units is used (such as the Sl system). If this is done. This interrelationship between lift. If two wings with the same planform area are placed side by side in an airstream at the same lAS and angle of attack. ' angle of attack remaining constant.e. it must be remembered that the freestream values for density and velocity-p 00 and V00 (TAS) must be used. For although 1/2 pV2 stands for !AS-basically true airspeed (V) modified by the variation in density (p) from the 'standard' value-when the symbol Vis used alone. The Lift Formula When brought together. 1 ' 4-2 Lift The Commercial Pilot Series II . lift will be increased four-fold. If lAS is kept constant lift depends solely on angle of attack. The CLprovides a measure of the lifting capability of a given wing (or aerofoil) at different angles of attack. this formula can be used to work out the actual value of the lift force under different conditions. Note however that the relationship between speed and lift is a 'squared' one. on the other hand a constant angle of attack is maintained. Do not be confused by the different functions here. The value of the CL for any given aerofoil shape can only be determined through aerodynamic testing. If the speed (TAS-'V') is doubled. the one with the higher CL (generally the one with the greatest camber) will produce more lift. If. the lift from the wings depends only on the angle of attack and lAS. the amount of lift generated will depend on lAS. the above three factors (dynamic pressure. angle of attack and airspeed is the most important and fundamental in flying. by extending the flaps) and can be used to assess how effective different wing designs are in producing lift. CL). It also indicates how this lifting capability changes if the aerofoil shape changes (for example. when we are not changing them by lowering flaps etc). wing area. all other factors including altitude and !. What the lift formula means to us as pilots can be summarised as follows: ~ 9 qJ lift generated by the wings = coefficient dynamic wing of lift pressure area for given shape I equates I usually depends on to constant t ~ angle of lAS attack For the majority of our flying therefore.

Beyond that point. a coefficient of lift curve results. the rate of increase in CL begins to drop away until the critical (or stalling) angle is reached. Variation of CL With Angle of Attack The most immediate and direct way of controlling the distribution of pressure around the wing (and thus the lift). • As the angle of attack increases beyond this moderate angle. This linear relationship from low to moderate angles of attack occurs with most aerofoil shapes. The CL cwve provides a valuable insight into how a particular aerofoil will perform in practice. The way in which the CL varies with angle of attack (a) is therefore important. 4-1. which will only occur momentarily during some aerobatic manoeuvres. (This cwve is similar to the CL curve for the wing of a training aircraft. • A cambered aerofoil must be placed in an airstream at a small negative angle of attack if no lift is to be produced. 4-1 A typical coefficient of lift curve for a GP-type aerofoil. Each aerofoil shape has its own particular value of CL at any given angle of attack. or if the aircraft is placed in a vertical climb or a vertical dive. A typical CL cwve for a GP aerofoil is shown at Fig. This is reflected in the CL having a small value at oo angle of attack. i. 4-1 are: • Since the aerofoil is cambered. in-flight angle of attack range Fig. Accordingly. any further increase in angle of attack results in Principles of Flight Lift 4-3 . The values for CL are shown so that the reader gets 'a feel' for the sort of numbers involved). about 10°). When these values are plotted on a graph of CL versus a. about minus 3° for the GP-type aerofoil. the value of CL is zero at the zero lift angle of attack. is through the angle of attack. An aircraft is rarely flown at the zero-lift angle of attack. at oo angle of attack the aerofoil will produce a small amount of positive lift depending on the speed of the airflow. the CL increases more or less in direct proportion to the angle of attack. • From the zero-lift angle to a moderately high angle of attack (in this case. with each type of aircraft having its own particular 'inbuilt' CL cwve. At this angle-called the zero lift angle-the reduction in pressure over the upper suface is balanced by the reduction in pressure below the lower surface and no lift is produced.e. Points of note from the curve in Fig.

curve reflects the mechanism of flow breakaway from the upper surface of the wing as the angle of attack approaches. for straight and level flight. the normal operating angle of attack range is from a little over 0" to an angle approaching the stalling angle (15-16"). Conversely. as we explain shortly. Note: The coefficient of lift cwve is sometimes loosely referred to as the 'lift curve'. At low angles of attack. these factors can tell us a lot about the performance of a particular wing. the separation point moves forward much more rapidlly and the airflow breaks away from most of the upper surface of the wing to form a large turbulent wake. curve are important indicators. It is not a graph of the lift force which. The pressure 'envelope' over the upper surface collapses and. The aircraft with the higher Ccmax-the 'higher lift' wing-will be able to fly at slower speeds without stalling. untoward surface roughness and such things as ice or damage can reduce the CL. are designed to increase the CL of a given wing. the peak of the C.max.) is attained at the stalling angle of attack which. Note that some lift is still produced when the wing is in a stalled condition but it decays rapidly with increasing angle of attack. A curve with sharp peak at C.max. at slow speeds. In level flight. Beyond the peak of the cwve at CLmax. (high angle of attack) combined with a low lAS. would be represented by the same straight-line value when plotted against angle of attack. 4-2. On the other hand.max ) has a greater lifting capacity and is able to produce more lift over all of its normal operating angles of attack. Always remember that the actual value of the lift produced by an aerofoil at any given time is a product of its coefficient of lift (which depends on angle of attack) and the lAS at which it is being operated. low angles of attack are associated with high speed-the lift required is generated mainly by the speed of the aircraft and a high value of C. than with one with a lower C. max indicates that the flow breakaway process occurs rapidly and the wing will stall relatively suddenly. Hence. accordingly. The wing is now said to be stalled. • As indicated in Fig. 4-1. and then passes. Lift augmentation devices. The Shape of the CL Curve As illustrated in Fig. such as flaps. the CL-and the lift from the wing- decline rapidly.. the stalling angle. (low angle of attack) combined with a high lAS can produce the same lift as a high C. the separation point begins to move forward and a thicker wake is formed. particularly when being operated at at high angles of attack. max. occurs at about 16". As discussed shortly.. in this case. The Effect of a High CL max. and the shape of the peak of the C. Note that the maximum value of coefficient of lift (C. and has more manoeuvrability. a significant reduction of C. One with a more rounded and flatter peak indicates a more gradual flow breakaway and a 'softer' stall. a low C.. All other factors being equal. This early stage in the breakdown of streamlined flow is reflected by the reduced rate of increase in c. 4-4 Lift The Commercial Pilot Series . the flow remains attached to the surface almost all the way back to the trailing edge before breaking away at the separation point to form a thin wake of turbulent flow. At a moderately high angle of attack. is unnecessary. a wing with a high maximum value of coefficient of lift (high C. the velocity factor in the lift equation is very much reduced and a high Cc (high angle of attack) is required to generate the same amount of lift. The value of C.

the angle at which the wing will stall may also change.Fig. As camber is increased.. Fig. Fig. the point of maximum thickness. 4-4 illustrates II this effect and shows curves for the same wing with II three different surface conditions-ve1y smooth. Fig. with II 'standard roughness'. GP. and contaminated-as is next o· explained. The Effect of Surface Roughness The CLmax attained by a wing in operation is very sensitive to the roughness of the f01ward part of upper surface. 4-3. Rate of increase CL decreases rapidly... 4-2. and a II significant reduction in the CLmax.. 4-4.30% chord... This part of the wing is normally constructed 1·2-14----/-'---.1 I -standard with a smooth finish and on some aircraft will be I~ roughness highly polished. a large turbulent wake.. Q)l g>l "'I g'l ~I Ull I I I I I The Effect of Camber The effect of camber is illustrated in Fig. The reason is that flow breakaway is I 1'-. II which brings an early onset of the stall. separation point airflow breaks away from moves forward and most of upper surface in wake thickens. The main effect of increased camber is that the CL is increased over all normal operating angles of attack. depending on thickness/chord (tic) ratio. I I contaminated encouraged by any roughness of this part of the wing. Note that the zero-lift angle of attack for the symmetrical aerofoil is 0°. in CL falls away. which gives representative CL curves for symmetrical. and a number of o· other factors. separation point Approaching stalling Beyond the stalling angle. The effect of camber on CL. 4-3. from the leading edge to about 20 . Principles of Flight Lift 4-5 . The effect of surface condition on CL. angle.. and high-lift aerofoils.

lift is produced when the pressure above the wing is lower than that below. The pressure distribution lower pressure above and below the wing induces a spanwise flow. Fig. there is also often a variation in the spanwise distribution of pressure.... The direction of the aitflow over a wing has three components: vertical. Contamination. spanwise component (exaggerated) Fig. 4-6 Lift The Commercial Pilot Series . bird droppings. 4-6. such that the areas of greatest pressure difference are toward the wingroots.. vertical chordwise component component ~-::::::::::===. frost.... As we know already. As a result of this spanwise flow. dirt. vortices are formed and are shed from the Fig. These can cause a wing to stall at a lower angle of attack than normal with a significant loss of lift.. chordwise and spanwise. 4-5... The recommended take-off and landing speeds for an aircraft have a safety margin which includes a 'standard roughness' factor for the wing surface. / / .... -~----- h - higher pressure wingtips. i.s direction of induced flow . The total pressure distribution pattern induces an outward spanwise flow under the wing (from higher pressure to atmospheric) and an inward flow over the upper surface (from atmospheric to lower pressure).----.. vertically in relation to the chord.----~---. and even insect remains or dust. particularly of the leading edges and fmward upper part of the wing surface can be dangerous. ... Before flight. we have considered the airflow over a wing only in two dimensions.. There is now a need to consider the airflow in a third direction-along the wing from root to tip or vice versa- called the spanwise flow.. and in the direction of the chord from leading to trailing edges (called the chordwise flow). ' . . 4-6 depicts the pressure envelope of a wing when viewed from behind._. ' atmospheric pressure \ +. This takes account of any roughness arising during manufacture and normal operational wear and tear..__.~ c--~---==::::.e... (Note-a vortex is a rapid whirling or spinning motion in a mass of fluid). In addition. and from all along the trailing edge of the wings. . It takes no account of any extra contamination of the surfaces from such things as ice. +-*~/ / -. pressure "'~.. Three Dimensional Flow Over a Wing So far. ensure that these surfaces are clean and free from contamination. ~ .. . ' ' atmospheric l / .... and particularly if the wing is tapered in section or in planform. snow.

downwash downwash Fig. 4-7: • The wingtip vortices are the major effect and are caused by the air 'spilling' from high pressure (through atmospheric) to low pressure around the wingtips. dragging more air from its surroundings with it and growing as it extends back from the wingtip. airflow over airflow over lower surface upper surface trailing edge wingtip vortices ..• vortices Fig. no advantage in terms of lift or drag can be gained by the aircraft. They are less pronounced and less stable than the wingtip vortices and generally become absorbed in the turbulent and unpredictable flow of the wake from the trailing edge. tend to 'roll up' toward the wingtip vortices and add to their effect. 4-7. The core of each vortex spins at high speed. Under these conditions. at low speed and high angles of attack.. Wingtip and trailing edge vortices. (*Note: We will call it an 'upflow' to distinguish it from the upwash which is normally present ahead of the wing and which does have an effect on the airflow swept by the wing). Principles of Flight Lift 4-7 . 4-8. Conversely. • The trailing edge vortices are the result of the airflow meeting at the trailing edge at slightly different angles. the chordwise flow has greater momentum and the pressure gradient has little effect in turning the flow in a spanwise direction. It is known however.As illustrated in Fig. The wingtip vortices produce a downwash behind the wing. which are triggered by such things as small proturbences. The formation of vortices is least at high speed and low angles of attack. the pressure gradient is more effective in turning the flow in a spanwise direction and stronger vortices are formed. The overall effect of the wingtip vortices is to produce a downwash behind the wing as shown at Fig. that the more pronounced trailing edge vortices. 4-8. It should be noted that each of the vortices also produces a compensating upflow* but as this is outside the wingspan and the area being swept by the wing. Wingtip vortices can be comparatively large and can last for some time before finally dissipating well behind the aircraft.

but also by its shape in planform.. In this manual... delta.:. tilting it downward at the rear as shown at Fig... it includes that area 'cut out' by the fuselage) as shown in Fig. The wing area used is gross wing area (i. span -------J>l span aspect ratio = chord Fig.~~---=~=:.g~-N.::.. To give a good basis for comparison between different planform shapes.. 4-9..._::.!==~. and so on. Aspect ratio is the ratio of the wingspan to the chord of a wing.. aspect ratio is usually measured by span2 divided by wing area (S). swept-wing.. Many different planform shapes are used with aircraft-straight wing. This airflow-which is what the aerofoil 'sees' and reacts to-is called the effective relative airflow. __. k-----.:-_ __ gross wing area 4-8 Lift The Commercial Pilot Series . .. Increased downwash reduces effective angle the effective angle of attack. The 'induced' downwash affects the overall average angle of the airflow over the wing. we will limit consideration of planform shape in the main to straight wings.. 4-9.. The difference between the effective and the geometric angles of attack only becomes significant at the higher angles of attack/slower speeds and has an effect on lift (as is discussed shortly) and on drag (which will be covered in the next chapter). 4-10.:··"'-. It can be seen that the geometric angle of attack (between the remote RAF and the chord line) is reduced by the downwash angle to what is called the effective angle of attack._. which may include a degree of taper toward the tips. tapered.e. of attack geometric angle downwash angle of attack The Effect of Aspect Ratio The CL of a wing is affected not only by its cross-sectional shape (the aerofoil section used).. high speed/low a / remoteRAF ~ little -~... __. 2 Aspect ratio. 4-10. All have different lift and stalling characteristics which depend on their planform shape and an important factor in this is the aspect ratio of the wing.... measured by: _ _span -'-.. downwash effective RAF Fig.:_. ~.

Conversely.. you obse1ve the nose attitude of a high AR-winged aircraft (like a glider) just prior to touchdown.f HIGH ASPECT RATIO ell:ec\1'-1 LOW ASPECT RATIO You can see this difference between effective and geometric angles of attack if. the angle at which the airflow meets is greater. the area affected by the downwash is but a relatively small proportion of the total area behind the wing. By contrast. the wing sections and planform are vastly different between Concorde and a glider. all other factors remaining equal. but a principal reason for the different angle of attack at high CL is the difference in AR. a low AR-a much larger proportion of the total flow is spilt around the wingtip. As both wings have the same section. the chordwise flow has little time to develop as the air crosses the wing. like the Concorde. L The effect of AR on lift. A--------------r-~~~~~~~ ' . and therefore on the amount of induced downwash. we mean the geometric angle of attack. In many diagrams (like the one following). Remember that the geometric angle of attack is the angle between the chord line and the remote relative airflow. With a high AR wing. necessitating the use of the 'droop snoot' so that the pilots can still see the runway! Admittedly. It will be relatively low. when we refer to angle of attack throughout this manual. a low AR- winged aircraft.and • increase the (geometric) stalling angle. changes in angle of attack will be indicated.Aspect ratio (AR) has a major effect on the formation of vortices. regardless of planform or section will reach their CLmax at about 15-16° effective angle of attack. and the area behind the wing affected by downwash is much greater. the lower the amount of downwash. Proportionally less air therefore 'spills' over the wingtip and the angle at which the air meets at the trailing edge is small. the geometric stalling angle of attack-which is what the pilot sees through nose attitude-will be noticeably higher in the aircraft with the low AR wing. The higher the AR. 4-11. However. These will be changes to the geometric angle of attack and it is worth noting that as a general rule most wings. In addition. the effect of decreased AR is to: • decrease the CLmax . 4-11 (which is for two wings with a different aspect ratio but with the same section and wing area.e. Fig. For a wing of given area and section. TR L Fig. It is related to the nose attitude which the pilot sees. ' :' reduced lift vector '' : '' '' ''' '' ' ' RAF RAF effective RAF · eRP. with a wing which has a relatively short wingspan and a long chord-i. Unless stated otherwise.li. has an extremely high nose attitude-well over 30°-just before touchdown. for example. both at the critical angle) illustrates how increased downwash on the low AR wing tilts the TR further to the rear and reduces the lift vector. they will stall at about the same effective angle of attack-the angle which the wing 'sees'. Principles of Flight Lift 4-9 .

4-12 shows CL curves for a typical high AR wing (like a glider wing). The effect of AR in reducing the CL max can be clearly seen. The effect of aspect ratio on CL. These factors are discussed in more detail in a later chapter. Fig. one of moderate AR as may be found on a typical training aircraft. and a low AR wing. 4-12. a high AR wing is more efficient in producing lift. but remember that the effective angle of attack for each of these wings will be much the same. All other factors being equal. mediumAR same wing section and wing area 0' As all three of the wings illustrated have the same wing section. the t/c ratio and the point of maximum thickness. The increase in geometric stalling angle as AR reduces can also be seen. the respective peaks of the CL curves are similar in shape. The shape of the curve in this area is determined by a number of factors including the roundness of the 'nose' (or leading edge). Fig. 4-10 Lift The Commercial Pilot Series .

.. the amount of lift generated depends on two factors.............. These are ............. 12....... I 0... indicates that flow separation and the stall occur relatively (slowly/suddenly). 3......... and ... speeds and . bird droppings etc. 9. angles of attack... angle of attack than normal and result in a significant ... b.... Annotate the approximate angles of attack for CL = 0..... 6..... In flying. high speed is associated with a (high/low) angle of attack. 8.. Write down the lift formula and state what each of the factors stands for...... have (increased/decreased) manoeuvrability. 13... 4....... be able to fly level with a (higher/lower) angle of attack at the same speed..... the high AR wing has a (higher/lower) CL over the normal operating range of angle of attack and will stall at a (higher/lower) geometric angle of attack. increased downwash tilts the total reaction (TR) further back which (increases/decreases) the lift vector......... c...... A highly cambered aerofoil has (greater/less) lifting capability than one with less camber..... Contamination of wing surfaces with such things as ice. 2.... ........... . and CL max... if the CL max. the aircraft will: a. At the same effective angle of attack.... The generation of wingtip and trailing edge vortices is greatest at .. and therefore (high/low) CL....... If two wings have the same aerofoil section but different AR..... This downwash reduces the (geometric/ effective) angle of attack...... and therefore (high/low) CL. A CL cu!Ve with a sharp peak at CL max.... can cause the wing to stall at a .. of lift.... the wing area is usually constant.......... If the flap setting remains unchanged.............. High AR wings have (greater/less) induced downwash than those with low AR.... Wingtip and trailing edge vortices combine to induce an additional downwash behind the wing... 5... All other factors remaining equal. Principles of Flight Lift 4-11 .... snow..... Sketch a typical CL cu!Ve for a GP aerofoil..... In level flight: a... ........... 7.... to .. The coefficient of lift (CLl is simply a number which describes the lifting ..... low speed is associated with a (high/low) angle of attack..... b... stall at a (higher/lower) speed.. 14..... frost..... of an aerofoil shape at different angles of attack..... Aspect ratio (AR) is the ratio of .. 15...... of a given wing can be increased... Review4 I. I I.

4-12 Lift The Commercial Pilot Series .

.. thrust both aircraft 100 KIAS Fig. At other times. (These effects are discussed in more detail later). To maintain any given speed the amount of thrust produced must be sufficient to overcome the total drag at that speed. The ability to deliberately increase it-for example by lowering the undercarriage. However.. we could afford to disregard any small contributions made to total lift by the tailplane. The advantages of a lower thrust requirement are obvious- smaller. each and every surface of an aircraft will produce an aerodynamic force. the less the thrust required to counteract it- and the higher the maximum level flight speed which can be attained with a given engine. it is the wings which produce by far the greatest proportion of the total lift. not all about drag is bad. In flight. A consequence of lowering the flaps is an increase in drag which gives the advantage of steeper and safer approach angles and shorter landing distances. With drag it is different. giving better control and throttle response. Lower drag requires lower thrust to counteract it. Principles of Flight Drag 5-1 . fuselage or any other parts of the aircraft. A much greater proportion of total drag is comes from the fuselage and surfaces other than the wings which are exposed to the airflow. deploying airbrakes or spoilers on high- performance aircraft-confers a distinct advantage in enabling the pilot to slow the aircraft quickly. In Chapter 3-when discussing aerofoils-we defined drag as that component of aerodynamic reaction which acts parallel to the relative airflow and opposes the motion of the aircraft through the air. increased drag from lowered flaps enables higher power to be used at low speeds. Hence. Drag is the enemy of efficient flight.. The lower the drag. possibly fewer engines. lower fuel flows. we must take the whole of the aircraft into account. 5-1. and lower operating costs. less strain on the engines and associated structures.. For practical purposes therefore. drag -. Of all of these surfaces. Almost all aircraft are equipped with flaps to provide for an increase of lift. Drag Introduction Drag is the aeronautical term for the air resistance experienced by an aircraft in flight. when discussing drag. and reduce the length of the landing run. The main purpose of the power-plant produced thrust is to move the aircraft through the air. thrust d~&'/ / ~ ~ ~ .

5-2. The various types of drag. Within this group are: -profile drag (form drag and skin friction) and -interference drag. called the boundary layer. Classification of Total Drag The total drag on an aircraft is the sum of all those components of aerodynamic force which act parallel and opposite to the direction of flight. The bounda1y layer in the airflow over a wing is usually relatively thin-no more than a maximum of about 2 or 3 em in depth. Beginning at the outer edge of the boundary layer. Although the viscosity of air is much lower. which arises from the generation of wingtip and trailing-edge vortices. its viscosity causes the particles next to the surface to adhere to the surface of the body. This physical quality of viscosity is easily seen and felt in a thick fluid like treacle. but is difficult to imagine in a thin and invisible fluid like air. hence it deserves study in a little more detail. I TOTAL DRAG I I I induced drag parasite drag profile drag interference drag Fig. it is there. Parasite Drag All of the elements of parasite drag-skin friction. form drag and interference drag-arise because air is a viscous medium. known as parasite drag. 5-2 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . • The drag forces not directly associated with lift production. This layer of retarded flow which is sandwiched between the local freestream flow and the surface of the body is known as the boundary layer. Drag is classified in slightly different ways by different authorities. and it causes the particles of air to 'stick' to one another and to any surface they come into contact with for the same reason that the particles of treacle 'stick' together and adhere to a spoon. in this manual we will consider drag under two main groups: • The drag force directly associated with the production of lift. known as induced drag. skin friction form drag NOTE: We outline an alternative way of grouping the above types of drag toward the end of this chapter. The Boundary Layer When air moves past a solid body. The nature of the airflow in the bounda1y layer has a significant effect on the lift and drag characteristics of an aircraft. For convenience. the velocity of the airflow is progressively decreased until it it brought to a halt at the surface. It is usual and convenient to group the various sources of drag under different headings so that they may be more easily studied and understood. and the airflow in the immediate vicinity to be slowed down. The effects of viscosity are felt through a relatively thin layer of air adjacent to the surface of a moving body.

e. This enables the air nearer the surface to retain more of the freestream velocity (i. The point at which the flow changes from laminar to turbulent is known as the transition point-although in reality this process takes place over a finite distance. After progressing for a certain distance over a surface (even if that surface is flat and aligned with the airflow) the flow in the boundary layer normally becomes turbulent and the layer becomes much thicker. In the laminar-flow boundary layer. not to be slowed up as much) resulting in a changed velocity profile as shown in the diagram. where one 'sheet' of air slides smoothly over its neighbour and the rate of change of velocity between successive sheets is gradual. the intermixing between air particles from different levels prevents this smooth sliding effect and. the flow within the bounda1y layer exists in two forms: • Laminar flow. each successive sheet of air slides smoothly over the one nearer the surface and there is a relatively uniform increase in velocity from zero at the surface to the freestream value at the outer edge. the drag produced is relatively low. Turbulent-flow bounda1y layers are about 10 times thicker than their laminar counterparts-on average in the order 2 em thick. The initial part of the flow over most smooth surfaces is laminar in nature. That is. In a turbulent- flow boundary layer. Laminar flow boundary layers are very thin-in the order of 2 mm in depth. the lower flow is 're-energized'. This turbulent bounda1y layer flow is characterized by high- frequency eddies and swirls and there is considerable inter-mixing of the flows at successive levels. • Turbulent flow. it is better to have a laminar bounda1y layer over as much of the aircraft surfaces as possible. 5-3. It follows from the foregoing that to keep skin-friction drag to a minimum. 5-3. As faster-moving air (with greater kinetic energy) from the outer part of the boundmy layer mixes with the air nearer the surface. there is greater shear stress and the resulting skin-friction drag is much higher. Principles of Flight Drag 5·3 . as the rate of change of the velocity of the flow near the surface is less gradual. Shear stress is the force required to separate the air particles at one level from those at the next and move them along at a faster rate. Skin-friction Drag Skin-friction drag is the result of shear stress between successive levels of air within the boundary layer. not to scale I I turbulent flow I transition point I laminar flow I V freestream \ T 2cm approx 2mm approx velocity profile velocity profile 1 Fig. The two types of boundary layer flow. As illustrated at Fig.

_"7 + wake low pressure peak boundary layer depth Fig. laminar boundary layer flow is encouraged by long slender aerodynamic shapes which have the point of maximum thickness located well back This is one of the reasons why high-speed aero foils have this point located at about 50% chord.. it can be seen that the lowest static pressure is located on each surface at about the point of maximum thickness. As the airflow progresses beyond the point of lowest pressure toward the trailing edge.e.--:. low pressure peak and transition point favourable adverse pressure pressure gradient _ _ gradient laminar flow "" / / / . Shape Laminar-flow boundary layers are sensitive to adverse pressure gradients. Factors Affecting Skin-friction Drag Speed An increase in speed means that the rate of change of velocity across the flow in the boundary layer is increased which increases the shear stress. which occur where the flow is toward an area of higher static pressure. For this reason. This delays transition and enables a greater proportion of the wing to be covered with a laminar flow boundary layer-resulting in less skin-friction drag at high speed. Surface Condition Laminar flow is also very sensitive to surface irregularities. ~~' . measures such as flush riveting and protection against damage are taken to keep the surface free from irregularity. across the area with a favourable pressure gradient. If the airflow around an aerofoil at a low angle of attack is considered (Fig.: c- '-- ' I:::_-::::--'2 ~.- ---~> tc------------=-----v .. Laminar boundary layer flow can usually be maintained from the leading edge to this point-i. 5-4. the forward surfaces of most aircraft are generally constructed with a smooth surface finish and.----_-___ ~ r-:. 5-4). The effect of pressure exaggerated and transition point gradient on boundary layer flow. NOTE: Static pressures are transmitted without modification through the boundary layer to the surface of an aerofoil. -. . . Hence. -- ~::~-:::::::::::::::-:-:~:~:~::':. and any roughness- to a degree which can be felt by the hand for example-is sufficient to cause the flow to become turbulent.../ boundary layer r-.~ :0.. 5-4 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . and the boundary layer responds by transitioning to turbulent flow. even if the pressure gradient is favourable. Skin-friction drag increases in proportion to the square of lAS. the pressure gradient becomes increasingly adverse. on high speed aircraft particularly. / turbulent flow boundary layer>-~::~:> c:::--~_.::~~~ .

Size If the size of a body of a given shape in a given airflow is increased. -+-drag ----. there is a slight increase in skin-friction drag as the transition point moves forward and a greater proportion of the surface becomes covered with a turbulent boundary layer. Although it is an important parameter in aerodynamics. The pressure dependency of form drag can be readily appreciated in Fig. This is called scale effect. if the size of a given shape is doubled. There will still be a small turbulent wake to the rear and. The difference of pressure ahead and behind the plate-and form drag-are at a maximum. although minimal. a large turbulent wake is formed. Angle of Attack At high angles of attack. to keep drag low it is better that not only should aerodynamic shapes be slender.) Thus. with the plate laid parallel with the flow. On the other hand.. For example. This fore/aft pressure difference (form drag) has its origin in the separation of streamline flow around the body and the formation of a turbulent wake.Although. most of the drag will be from skin fliction. 5-5. as will be described shortly. velocity and viscosity of the airflow.. the low pressure peak over the upper surface of a wing moves forward and the transition point moves forward in sympathy with the change in pressure gradient. a smooth surface finish in this area is also important in keeping the bounda1y layer from becoming too thick and in helping to delay separation. when in flight. That component of the force generated by the pressure difference which is parallel to the airstream is form drag. The pressures inside this wake are always lower than those forward of the body. the pressure on the forward-facing surfaces will always be higher (even if only slightly) than on the rearward-facing surfaces. it is a complex subject and a full discussion is beyond the scope of this manual. (Reynolds Number relates the size of a body to the density.e. With the plate set at right angles. Principles of Flight Drag 5-5 . there will be a small difference in pressure front and rear and therefore some form drag present. S-5.. the total surface area exposed to the airflow. Mostly form drag and mostly skin-friction drag. but also as small as possible. if it is an aerofoil). Form Drag Whenever a solid body moves through air. the increase in drag (and lift) under the same airflow conditions will be more than doubled.. which is out of proportion to the increase in size. Surface Area The magnitude of skin-friction drag depends on the 'wetted area' of the aircraft- i.~drag Fig. If the angle of attack is increased at any given speed. a turbulent boundary layer will exist on most aircraft surfaces from the 'point of maximum thickness' toward the rear. which shows a flat plate placed in two different attitudes in an airstream. and it is measured by Reynolds Number. there is an increase in drag (and lift.

The separation point should not be confused with the transition point which is related only to the flow inside the boundary layer. the pressure distribution and adverse gradient above the aerofoil are such that the boundmy layer is able to maintain its energy almost all the way back to the trailing edge before separation occurs. 5·6 shows how the velocity profile changes in the boundmy layer. the flow as a whole is no longer able to conform with the shape of the body and separation occurs. the wake thickens and form drag increases (Fig. As we saw from the previous chapter that point is called the separation point. aerofoil Fig. turbulent boundary Fig. The nature of the turbulent flow in the wake is also different from the turbulent flow in the bounda1y layer-the eddying is slower and on a much larger scale. As the angle of attack is increased. this lower flow is slowed so much that it stops and may begin to reverse as a result of the adverse pressure gradient. the aerofoil has begun to perform more like the flat plate placed at right angles to the airflow shown in Fig. The point of separation of the streamline flow around an aerofoil shape is determined by the conditions in the boundary layer. the flow nearest the surface slows down. As it flows from the point of maximum thickness of the aerofoil toward the trailing edge. 5-7 c). because of friction. 5-5. leading up to separation. At this angle of attack. 5-7 a). 5-7 shows the relationship between the bounda1y layer and form drag on an aerofoil placed in an airstream at constant speed but at different angles of attack. At some point. Separation occurs layer when the lower flow in the flow boundary layer slows to a stop and begins to reverse. the peak of low pressure moves forward and the pressure gradient becomes increasingly adverse-the separation point moves forward. 5-7b). 5·6. As the critical angle is approached. the turbulent bounda1y layer continues to thicken gradually and. the turbulent flow in the wake is often referred to as separated flow. To distinguish between the two. When that occurs. The point at which the streamline flow around an aerodynamic surface breaks down to form a turbulent wake is important in determining how much form drag will be generated. The wake formed is small and form drag is low (Fig. 5-6 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . Fig. this process is accelerated and the separation point begins to move rapidly forward until separation has occurred over most of the upper surface and the aerofoil stalls with a sudden Joss of lift accompanied by a large increase in form drag (Fig. At a low angle of attack.

4. size. Streamlining Streamlining is aimed at reducing the effect of adverse pressure gradients-by making the curvature of surfaces more gradual.x. 5-8. particularly toward the rear. boundary layer point thickens. Streamlining. Low angle of attack.5-7b. angle of attack and airspeed. wake thickens. Factors Affecting Form Drag Form drag can be a large part of total drag and good design should aim to reduce it as much as possible.~. ' point r==~~i!!m. The main factors affecting form drag are shape (streamlining). transition point Fig. which in turn reduces the size of the turbulent wake and reduces the pressure difference between forward and rearward surfaces. separation As angle of attack increases. 5-la. especially behind the shape. low form drag.~s'~k--------~s~o~~.~oo"'% Principles of Flight Drag 5-7 . large turbulent wake forms. small wake. form drag increases dramatically. =~~:::::------. Passing the stalling angle. DRAG DRAG Fig. 5-lc. which is for four different shaped bodies with the same cross sectional area. transition point separation Fig. separation point moves rapidly forward. form drag increases.------------~.. separation point Fig._ :~DRAG ----== I o~s~~. 5-8. The dramatic reduction in form drag which can be achieved by streamlining is illustrated at Fig. separation point moves forward. This delays separation. separation point well back. reduces form drag substantially.

Or. but if the fineness ratio becomes too high. if that is not possible. 5-11. 5-11. Fig. The effectiveness of streamlining a body of a given cross-sectional area for subsonic airflows is determined by fineness ratio. it is preferable that cross-sectional areas when viewed from the forward aspect. damage. The addition of fairings reduces form drag Streamlining of shapes is made less effective if the aircraft surfaces have irregularities such as ice or damage-anything which intenupts the smooth streamlined flow will precipitate separation and increase form drag.e. 5-8 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . 5-9. as shown in Fig. -drag ice accretion drag Fig. To keep form and skin-friction drag (i. Fig. Ice. profile drag) to a minimum. L -------------~ Size The magnitude of form drag is proportional to the size of the surface on which the front and rear pressure difference acts. or any irregularity on the airframe will increase drag. the surface area and skin-friction drag are unnecessarily increased. 5-10. The fineness ratio is the ratio between the length of a body to its depth (or breadth). Least form drag is achieved with a fineness ratio of between 3 and 4 with the maximum depth placed at about one-third of the distance back from the leading edge. Other measures for reducing form drag include such things as retracting the undercarriage within the wings or fuselage so that it is not left exposed to cause drag when not in use. A fair amount of latitude may be taken with these dimensions without much increase in drag. by adding fairings to present a more streamlined shape. be kept as small as possible in the design of aircraft. Fineness ratio is given by Length (L) divided by Depth (D).

the form drag of an aircraft as a whole increases as angle of attack is increased. it is often said that induced drag is a part of lift. increases the length of the drag vector and it is this increase in drag which is known as induced drag. Fig. the form drag is lower than it is at high speed/low angle of attack. such as the wing/fuselage junctions. Speed Form drag is a function of the dynamic pressure acting on an aircraft and therefore increases with the square of lAS. Principles of Flight Drag 5-9 . A wing-root fairing. It arises from the downwash induced by the wingtip and trailing edge vortices which. This extra rearward tilt. however. A fairing is a part of the skin (external surface) of an aircraft added to encourage smoother blending of different airflows and reduce eddying and the resultant drag. the effects of angle of attack and airspeed on form drag. at any given speed. Induced Drag Induced drag will be present whenever the wings are producing lift. Note that for level flight. a wake is formed behind the aircraft. To that extent. Suitable filleting and blending of shapes to control local pressure gradients can aid in minimizing interference drag. Wherever the airflows from the various surfaces of the aircraft meet. in effect. Interference Drag The total parasite drag produced by an aircraft is greater than just the sum of the skin-friction drag and form drag generated by the individual components which are exposed to the airflow.Angle of Attack As we have seen. the tail section/fuselage junctions and the wing/ engine nacelle junctions. (Refer again to Figs. It should be noted that this forward movement of the separation point with increased angle of attack is not confined to the wings. Hence at slow speed/high angle of attack. oppose one another. Interference drag also increases with the square of lAS. 5-12. the more powerful. tilts the total reaction force further backward through the induced downwash angle. Additional drag is caused by the mixing. The additional turbulence which occurs in the wake causes a greater pressure difference between the front and rear surfaces of the aircraft and therefore increased drag. the separation point moves forward and form drag increases. for a given amount of lift being produced. or interference. This additional drag is referred to as interference drag. Hence. if the angle of attack of an aerofoil is increased at constant speed. The airflow around other surfaces such as the fuselage will be similarly affected and they will also produce more drag. The effect of airspeed is. 4-7 to 4-9). of converging airflows at the junction of various surfaces. Another effect of increased angle of attack is that all aircraft surfaces generally present a greater frontal area to the oncoming airflow.

This increase in drag is induced drag. a.e. induced downwash induced drag IV I c. A diagrammatic explanation of induced drag is given in the following illustration. airflow lift reduced b. The induced downwash decreases the effective angle of attack-the magnitude of the TR and its vertical component (lift) is reduced as a result. With induced downwash. In doing this. the geometric angle of attack must be increased by the downwash angle until the effective angle is the same in Fig. but this time of a real wing of finite length and therefore having vortices. drag TR Fig. lift the effective angle of attack is the same as the geometric angle. With no induced downwash. To restore lift to its former value. 5-10 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . To restore this loss of lift. the effective angle of attack is the same as the geometric angle of attack-which you will recall is the angle between the remote relative airflow and the chord line. 5-13c as it was in Fig. With no induced downwash. This tilts the TR further toward the rear. Fig. 5-13a. therefore. Fig. the TR becomes more tilted to the rear resulting in an increase of the length of the drag vector. the effective angle of attack must be increased. having no wingtips and. 5-13b shows the same section at the same geometric angle of attack.5-13. the effective angle of attack and lift are reduced. 5-13a shows the forces acting on a section of a hypothetical wing which we can imagine as being infinitely long-i. no vortices and no way for a spanwise flow to develop. increasing the length of the drag vector- producing induced drag.

an elliptical planform shape produces the smallest vortices and therefore the lowest induced drag. These are incorporated in the CL' factor in the above equation which can be seen to have a powerful effect on the amount of induced drag generated. proportionally less of the airflow swept by the longer span is affected by the vortices. weight and airspeed). for wings with straight leading and trailing edges. the induced downwash angle.The angle through which the TR tilts toward the rear is determined by the pressure distribution and the direction of the effective airflow. is smaller and the induced drag low. max. wing planform shape. As the angle of attack is increased. Aspect Ratio The effect of aspect ratio on the production of vortices has been covered in the previous chapter. when averaged over the whole of the high AR wing. in comparison with a wing of lower AR. the smaller the angle of induced downwash. When the wing is at the zero-lift angle of attack (C. Induced drag therefore increases with angle of attack to be at a maximum at the stalling angle. This is the nub of induced drag. These factors are incorporated in the coefficient of induced drag (Coil which is: where 7t = the fixed ratio. Because of their difficulty in construction. where the AR and planform shape of the aircraft are fixed. airspeed and aircraft weight. Consequently. vortices form and increase in strength up to the angle for C. Factors Affecting Induced Drag There are a number of factors affecting induced drag. However. High AR wings produce smaller vortices and. 5-13a). e =wing efficiency factor (see below). Obviously. (which includes considerations of angle of attack. and C. Wing Planform Shape For a wing of given span. Induced drag increases as the angle of attack is increased. the important factors in determining induced drag are angle of attack. 22/7. The higher the AR.. the lower will be the induced drag. Principles of Flight Drag 5-11 . Coefficient of Lift From the pilot's point of view. including aspect ratio (AR). • Angle of attack. The strength of the vortices is determined by the pressure difference above and below the wing. the judicious use of taper and washout of the wing sections toward the tips can produce a similar reduction in induced drag. By definition. not many aircraft have been built with this planform shape-perhaps the most famous example being the World War II Spitfire. the nearer the wing will be to becoming infinitely long (Fig. Most straight wings produce between 5 to 15% more induced drag than an elliptical wing and this is accounted for by the wing efficiency factor (e) in the above equation for Co. the lift and drag components of the TR must be resolved with respect to the remote RAF which reflects the direction of flight. = 0) there are no vortices and therefore no induced drag. AR = aspect ratio.

washout combined with taper is one measure. These vortices result in an induced downwash which is over and above the downwash necessary to produce lift. the energy required to create the vortices (to stir the air) must come from somewhere. induced drag is greatest at low airspeeds and high angles of attack. 5-14. • Airspeed. This is the opposite to the effect of airspeed on parasite drag. Whenever the wing is 'working hard' to produce lift-i. wingtip tanks) as shown in Fig. As has already been mentioned. For an aircraft just after take-off for example. Increased weight means that higher angles of attack must be used to produce a given amount of lift at any given speed. NOTE: Another important reason for using washout is to change the stalling characteristics of an aircraft as discussed in Chapter 8. In flight. Washout is a decreased angle of incidence toward the tips in the construction of wings. Induced drag increases in proportion to weight squared (W2). 5-15. To produce a rotary motion in any fluid requires energy-an example is the energy required to stir a large volume of water in a drum with some sort of paddle. which is directly proportional to lAS'. induced drag can be as high as 75% of total drag. and the modification of the wingtips (drooping. 5-12 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . An alternative way of looking at induced drag is as follows. it can reduce induced drag. When an aircraft is manoeuvring at high speed. although induced drag is proportionally lower.) wingroot section Fig.When the factors of angle of attack and airspeed are combined.e. Washout is a reduction of the angle of incidence* (and therefore the geometric angle of attack) of the wing sections toward the wing tips. it is still significant because of the high angle of attack being used. It can be shown that induced drag is inversely proportional to the square of lAS. Measures for the Reduction of Induced Drag Many aircraft have measures incorporated in the design of the wings to reduce the effect of induced drag. The production of vortices is an inevitable consequence of the production of lift with a wing of finite span. at a high angle of attack-induced drag will be high and will cause a reduction in airspeed or require an increase in power to compensate. Combined with taper. Ultimately. Other measures include wing fences (to straighten and control the spanwise flow). • Weight. winglets. Consider it this way. that demand is placed on the engine by requiring higher power to be used to offset the induced drag when it is desired to maintain a given speed. (* The angle of incidence is the angle between the chord of the wings or tail plane with respect to the fore and aft axis (or line) of the airframe.

Note that the minimum Co will generally occur when the wing is at about zero degrees angle of attack. In flight. Total Drag The Coefficient of Drag The total drag on an aircraft is a combination of parasite drag and induced drag. The coefficient of total drag (C 0 ) is therefore: Co = Co parasite + Co induced A typical CUJve of Co (for the aircraft as a whole) plotted against angle of attack is shown in Fig. the aircraft still generates parasite drag. In that range. 5-15. small angles of attack are normally associated with the higher speed range of an aircraft. the total drag is high-and increases with the square of airspeed. actual values of C0 are given so that the reader has a feel for the sort of numbers involved. As with the CL and lift CUJves therefore. Co increases through induced drag and increments of parasite drag. although the Co is low. It must not be taken as indicating the magnitude of total Fig. the C0 curve does not have a lot of angle of attack a utility and can be misleading. drag. Beyond the stalling angle. As the angle of attack is increased. Whereas. 5-16. the increase in C0 becomes more rapid due mainly to the effect of separation and increased form drag. Again. at that angle the CL is very small and little lift or induced drag is produced. Modification ofwingtips can reduce the strength of the vortices formed. straight wing wing let wing fence Fig. 5-16. -~ o· ~ ~ 1r 1~ By itself. be careful in distinguishing between the coefficient of drag curve and the drag curve. The coefficient of drag curve. Principles of Flight Drag 5-13 .

as for the lift formula. For level flight at a constant speed. The way in which drag varies with speed is an important consideration in aircraft performance and will form part of the discussion again in later chapters. "&'li"-' '6 . for convenience. when considering the drag of an aerofoil alone. thrust must be sufficient to counteract the drag and thus the minimum amount of thrust will be required for this at the minimum drag speed. or comparing drag with lift. This is also the speed at which the ratio of lift to drag is at a maximum. drag The drag curve. It is normal and useful to plot the total drag of an aircraft against lAS in straight and level flight.__0 . and at the minimum drag speed sufficient lift is produced to counteract the weight but with the minimum amount of drag. The curve which results is more descriptive than the Co curve in telling what happens to drag in flight. The drag curve shows. 'S' stands for the total frontal area. 'S' stands for the wing planform area).~ oc lAS' "'o. that for straight and level flight: • Total drag is high at slow speeds (high angle of attack) due mainly to the contribution of induced drag. • Total drag is also high at high speeds (low angle of attack). However. For flight in the low subsonic speed range. %. slow fast ~I "'"I total I Fig. the drag formula is: Drag= Co 1/z pV' S (Note: When calculating the drag of an aircraft with this formula. 5-14 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . ~'li 10-<. which is as could be expected since both are components of the same force. 5-17.: <I oc lAS' :9 Slow {high a) r lAS speed for minimum drag Fast (Iowa) and lifUdrag max.. lift equals weight. • Minimum drag is experienced at an intermediate airspeed where induced drag and parasite drag are equal. In straight and level flight. The Drag Curve The drag formula is very similar to the lift formula. and consists mainly of parasite drag.

L At higher speeds (lower angles of attack). however related to lAS.The minimum drag airspeed is a major consideration-a number of factors of aircraft performance are related to it. it is important that the aircraft be flown at the particular lAS associated with this angle of attacl{. For most aircraft. Angle of attack is Fig. the D 20 LID ratio falls off rapidly. In a sense. The lift/drag (LID) ratio at different angles of attack can be obtained by comparing CL against C0 since: lift (l) CL Y. In straight and level flight at a given weight. Some important in-flight performance requirements are obtained at the angle of attack for best LID ratio. lift is the benefit obtained by moving the aircraft through the air. or 15 At lower speeds (higher angles of attack) the LID ratio also reduces. hence when a specific angle of attack such as the most efficient angle is required. pV' S drag (D) Co Y. To obtain the required performance. Lift/Drag Ratio The aerodynamic performance and efficiency of the aircraft are determined by the lift/drag ratio at different angles of attack. the most efficient angle. the pilot does not angle of attack a have an instrument which gives a direct reading of angle of attack. These factors will be discussed in more detail later. this is normally about 4'a. pV' S When the value of CLI C0 is plotted against angle of attack we obtain the LID ratio curve. this is achieved by flying the aircraft at the related !AS. but less rapidly until the stalling angle where there is a marked reduction. and drag is the penalty paid for it. the 5 aircraft is not as efficient aerodynamically. It is really a summary of the main factors we need to know about drag. such as the maximum cruise range and the maximum gliding range. to obtain the greatest efficiency from the wing-the aircraft must be flown at the airspeed which gives the angle of attack for the best lift/drag ratio. Again. to obtain the greatest benefit for the least penalty-in other words. Aerodynamically. The drag curve-drag versus lAS (angle of attack)-is an extremely important relationship. 5-18. in this speed range. The aircraft is less efficient aerodynamically. Lift/drag ratio versus angle of attack. this angle is 25 associated with one !AS. 4' In the majority of aircraft. A typical example is given in Fig. The peak of the curve indicates the angle of attack for maximum L/0 ratio-in other words. Principles of Flight Drag 5-15 . 5-18.

Co total therefore = Co zero lift (a constant figure) +Co induced (suitably modified to include the increments of what we have referred to previously as parasite drag). with the amount of zero-lift drag produced relying on the other factors in the drag equation. An Alternative Classification of Drag Another way of classifying drag is to place it into two groups. 5-16 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series . • Lift-dependent drag consists of induced drag plus increments of skin- friction. as its name implies. As the wing is not producing lift. total drag is therefore the sum of zero lift drag and lift dependent drag. form and interference drag all of which arise when angle of attack is increased and lift is being generated. no induced drag will be generated. form and interference drag at different angles of attack. the drag experienced when the aircraft is flown at the zero lift angle of attack. Under this system. At this angle of attack. but modified to include the increments of skin-friction. zero-lift drag and lift-dependent drag. • Zero-lift drag is. As previously mentioned. all of the drag is made up of skin-friction. form and interference drag. The coefficient of zero-lift drag remains constant. this situation rarely occurs in flight-only momentarily during aerobatic manoeuvres or in a truly vertical climb or dive. The coefficient of lift dependent drag is as described for induced drag on page 5-11.

...............speed. flow.. I 3................... at small angles of attack.. Separation of the streamline flow around an aerofoil occurs when the flow in the lower part of the bounda1y layer slows to a stop and begins to ............ .. The total drag on an aircraft is the sum of all the components of aerodynamic force which act . surface condition............ Turbulent bounda1y layers are much (thinner/thicker) than laminar boundary layers and generate (more/less) skin-friction drag..... Which of the following factors affect skin-friction drag ... the .. 3.. As angle of attack is increased. the transition point on the upper surface of an aerofoil moves (forward/rea1ward) and skin-friction drag (increases/ deceases). The point at which this occurs is called the ..... wetted area........ With an aerofoil which has a smooth surface.................. the bounda1y layer . 12...... I 4.................. size........ and ... 9...... drag.................. The two types of flow in the boundary layer are called .. flow and .. ....... .................... I 5..................... Principles of Flight Drag 5-17 . As the boundary layer progresses past the low pressure peak on the upper surface of an aerofoil.. List the types of drag which make up parasite drag. point .. point......... a laminar flow boundary layer can generally be maintained from the leading edge to the point of..... a large turbulent wake is formed: and form drag (increases/ decreases) dramatically......... ReviewS 1. the separation point on the upper surface moves ... As the angle of attack of an aerofoil is increased... ....... 2........ 10....... to the direction of night.... In an airflow past a solid surface. The point at which the boundary layer changes from laminar flow to turbulent flow is called the .... the separation point moves rapidly (fmward/ rearward).. 6.induced drag and parasite drag... The front and rear pressure difference is caused by the breakdown (or separation) of streamline flow and the formation of a turbulent wake.......... .................. 5....... and form drag (increases/decreases).......... Total drag can be placed in two groups . 8....... .... 4................... pressure gradient causes the flow to become turbulent........................... The type of drag which results from the pressure difference between the forward and rearward-facing surfaces of an aerodynamic body is called ....... Passing the stalling angle...... 7.. shape.... the layer of air which is retarded by viscosity adjacent to the surface is called the .... angle of attack? I I.

25. 19..... 17............... If the form drag of a flat shape is rated at I 00%...... 33........... and the stalling angle..... ..... size.. State four design measures which can be taken to reduce the induced drag on a wing of given AR.. Lift dependent drag is made up of ...... is delayed and the ............. 22..... Induced drag is (inversely proportional/proportional) to IAS 2 • 26...... Write down the drag formula. ... ... 23. Induced drag is present when the wings are producing . Sketch a graph showing a typical Co versus angle of attack curve.. Induced drag is highest when the angle of attack is (high/low).. divided by ........ which is measured by . %... .... drag can be divided into two groups..... The additional drag caused by the mixing of different airflows around an aircraft is called .... drag..... The effectiveness of streamlining is determined by fineness ratio..................... 32. Streamlining reduces form drag by making the curvature of surfaces more gradual particularly toward the rear......... drag and . Draw a typical curve of lift/drag ratio versus angle of attack............ drag.... drag................ this can be reduced by streamlining to as little as .. drag and increments of ...... airspeed? 20....... 24....... 31........ the (geometric/effective) angle of attack must be increased if the same amount of lift is to be produced.................zero-lift and lift-dependent drag..... The lift/drag ratio can be obtained by dividing the coefficient of .... 30... This results in a further rearward tilt of the TR force with respect to the (effective airflow/flightpath) resulting in induced drag.. by the coefficient of...streamlining..... Indicate the stalling speed and the speed for minimum drag. drag... 21.. Induced drag is therefore greatest at (high/low) speeds and (high/low) angles of attack.. . angle of attack... Wings with a high AR generate proportionally (more/ less) induced drag than those with low AR.. 29. 16...... Whenever the downwash induced by the ·wingtip vortices is present..... 5-18 Drag The Commercial Pilot Series ............. Which of the following factors affect form drag...... -....... Draw a graph showing a typical cmve of drag versus airspeed for straight and level flight...... Aspect ratio (AR) has a (significant/insignificant) effect on the strength of the vortices produced. 18.... Zero lift drag does not contain ... The reason for the reduction in form drag is that .......formed to the rear is smaller.. In an alternative classification......... 28... 27...... Indicate the most efficient angle of attack............ ...

Low speed/high lift aerofoils have much better lifting capability at low speeds but a poor drag performance at high speeds. a low thickness/chord (tic) ratio. Whatever the type of aerofoil section used. the wings are operated at a low angle of attack (low CL) and the required lift is mainly derived from airspeed. there is no difficulty in providing for lift at high speeds. Hence high-speed aerofoils have good drag characteristics at high speed. almost all aircraft wings have some sort of device for lift augmentation at slow speeds and high angles of attack. The main problem in designing aircraft for high-speed operation is in keeping parasite drag as low as possible for efficient and economical use of engine power. and the point of maximum thickness placed well back. Principles of Flight Lift Augmentation 6-1 . These devices aim to provide the advantages of high lift at low speeds. Aerofoil sections used for high speed aircraft are therefore characterized by having little or no camber. The penalty paid is that much more parasite drag is generated at high speeds. The GP aerofoil is aimed at compromising between the lift and drag characteristics of the two. Typical trailing-edge flaps fitted to light aircraft. slats and slots. In the cruise or at higher speeds. The high-speed aerofoil suffers however from having a low CLmax. has a high t/c ratio. There are a number of ways in which this can be done. Trailing-edge Flaps Most aircraft are fitted with trailing-edge flaps-hinged trailing-edge surfaces usually fitted on the inner sections of the wings. Lift Augmentation Introduction In the design of aerofoils. This type of aerofoil is highly cambered. Wings constructed with this type of aerofoil therefore have a relatively high stalling speed and provide little manoeuvring capability at low speeds. Fig 6-1. An aircraft which is required to operate and manoeuvre safely at low speeds must incorporate a high-lift aerofoil in its wing construction. without incurring the disadvantage of generating high drag at high speeds. By comparison with the thinner high-speed section. but the main devices used are flaps. and thus a lower stalling speed and more manoeuvrability. but a poor lifting performance at low speeds. it provides a much higher CL at all normal operating angles of attack. and the point of maximum thickness well forward.

The higher CLmax also results in a reduced stalling speed. ·~ 30° increase in CL is large. but the gain in I lift over the last part of their travel (from about 6a .sao) is marginal. The way in which CL increases with different increments of flap lowered is shown at Fig. there are airspeed limits for operating the flaps and for flight with flap extended which must be observed for structural safety reasons. 6-3. Some flap systems have set stages of operation. 6-3. When lowered. This effect is illustrated at Fig. When selected. This is discussed in more o· a detail shortly. All have some type of indicator which shows the amount of flap selected. the --- /? full flap :'!? '"~. Simple flaps can achieve an increase of CL up to about sao of deflection. and it is important that this be checked visually before flight. All types of flap work on the principle of increasing the effective camber of the aerofoil section over that part of the wing to which they are attached. The flaps are lowered to change the shape of the aerofoil section over that part of the wing to which they are attached.. 6-2. ~--------------- --. 6-2 Lift Augmentation The Commercial Pilot Series .--- ~- ---~ -------=----- c ?E - ~--------------- ----------------- ~---------------- Fig.--. 6-2 which shows the type of trailing-edge flap called the simple or plain flap. but this increase tails off as further amounts of flap are lowered. Usually. In most aircraft. Note that the angle of attack for CLmax (the critical or stall angle) reduces as more and __-LJ_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _+ more flap is used. With flaps extended. Flaps operate by changing the effective camber of the aerofoil section. Fig. the flaps on each wing should travel simultaneously and symmetrically. more lift is produced with flaps down than with flaps retracted. Effects of Trailing-edge Flap There are several effects of lowering trailing-edge flap: Increased CL The main effect of lowering flap is that CL is increased over all normal operating angles of attack. while others allow variable settings to be made within their range of travel. aircraft are more manoeuvrable at low speeds. the increase in camber results in a greater pressure differential being generated above and below the wing. This means that at any given airspeed. Lowering flap increases CL.3ao of flap travel. With the initial 2a .------ -----. electrically or mechanically operated and actuated by an electrical switch or mechanical selector handle from the cockpit. they are hydraulically. and can safely approach and land at lower speeds resulting in shorter landing distances. even if in some cases this may rely on the positioning of the flap selector handle.

The use of partial flap-in the order of 15 . 6-4. that the angle of attack referred to is the geometric angle of attack in which the original chord line is used as a reference._f-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-=-_-_-_-_-_-_--::---:_-. giving better obstacle clearance and shorter landing distances. This is reflected in Fig 6-3 which shows that the CLmax occurs at a progressively lower angle as the flap setting is increased. At any given speed.:o--~-L. The use of flap can provide for a steeper approach to be made safely at a slower speed. For most types of trailing-edge flap. This increase in drag with flap is. With a few exceptions.p!p s ah7g~:. and the stalling angle of attack is lower. is normally restricted to the approach and landing. the wing will stall at a similar effective angle as the original geometric 'flaps retracted' angle. As the drag is higher. flaps up flaps extended reduced geometric a Fig.. however. Bearing in mind that the flaps do not normally extend over the whole of the trailing edge of the wing.. The lift/drag ratio is thus reduced with flap extended. Reduced angle of attack. In most circumstances.__ I. steeper approach at slower speed \ . than with them retracted. when flap is lowered on an aircraft. As is shown in Fig. the aircraft will fly level and stall at a lower nose attitude with flaps extended than it does with a 'clean' wing and this is what the pilot sees. Note however.edge flaps lowered. . the aircraft will fly level and stall at a lower angle of attack. the angle of attack is lower with trailing. 6-5. the increase in C 0 is proportionally greater than the increase in CL.Increased C0 • Whenever flaps are lowered.~.~~~ 11 a longer landing distance Fig. The use of the full flap setting- sometimes called the drag flap or landing flap setting-where there is a much larger increase in drag for a small increase in lift. if an average 'new' chord line is drawn for the flaps extended position and used as a reference. Principles of Flight Lift Augmentation 6-3 .-. With trailing-edge flap extended. d' t sho rt er Ian d1ng 1s ance . " t't[J-.- '\ h h t 1.. of advantage on the approach to land. the greatest increase in lift is obtained over the initial part of flap travel.. C0 increases. 6-5. optimum flap or take-off flap setting)-gives the advantage of increased lift with a relatively unimportant increase in drag. the higher drag during the landing roll-out also helps to reduce the landing distance. to maintain any given speed with the flaps lowered requires more thrust than with them retracted. Decreased lift/drag ratio. It enables steeper approach angles with better forward visibility and better obstacle clearance to be flown safely at a comparatively slow speed.20' (sometimes variously called the lift flap.

.'.. Summary When trailing-edge flaps are lowered: • CL increases.. i.. the shape of the pressure envelope around the wing changes as shown in Fig..e.. split.. This limits the CLmax which could potentially be y________ ------.. the flap itself becomes stalled. In some aircraft types.. ---.. • the l. 6-7. . are discussed in Chapter 9. When flaps are lowered... ----------~' ... simple.. This movement of the CP has a tendency to cause a nose-down pitch as the flaps are travelling. • the stalling angle of attack is reduced. The increase in CLmax which can be obtained varies from about 50% with the simple flap to 90% with the Fowler flap. the centre of pressure moves rearward. ' '.. The gain in CLmax is generally achieved at the expense of increased mechanical complexity.. but the centre of pressure (CP) moves rearward. and • the CP moves rearward.. In effect. and the tendency to 'balloon' or sink.. As flaps are lowered. not only is the TR force increased. in lift and a large increase in drag.. ' . The effectiveness of the simple flap is limited by the relatively early separation of the boundary layer at moderate to high angles of flap deflection.... and this leads to a lower overall gain ----.~'---~'-:"":--- Fig...jD ratio is reduced.. The characteristics of some of the more common are covered below. ~ achieved. Fig.. slotted and Fowler flaps..' ~-------..... this nose-down pitch is very evident..... 6-4 Lift Augmentation The Commercial Pilot Series ... • Co increases. The simple (or plain) flap. where the flaps are situated... 6-6.. the nose- down pitch may be offset by other factors-this subject will be covered in greater detail in a later chapter.. On others... Most of the increase in pressure differential occurs toward the rear of the aerofoil section..... As a result... The Simple (or Plain) Flap The effects of lowering the simple flap have been covered earlier.. Note: The effects of operating trailing-edge flap on the pitch attitude of an aircraft... 6-5. Types of Trailing-edge Flap There are many types of trailing-edge flap. Rearward movement of the centre of pressure.

Air.... but in addition to being deflected downward.. The Fowler flap.... accelerates around the nose of the flap and is directed down over the upper surface of the flap...:-:::--- _ .. ---- The Split Flap -------------:~~---- In the split flap arrangement. ... In addition to gaining the benefit of the slot. This delays separation of the boundary layer enabling a higher CLmax to be achieved with lower drag.. The slotted flap.. Because the upper surface retains the same shape..---------- ... is given at Fig... the drag generated by a split flap is higher..... aerofoil section moves. 6-9. .. The gain in CLmax with split flap is --. However.. ... 6-11. 6-10... there is also a larger rearward movement of the CP........--- - -------... giving the greatest flap retracted increase in CL for the lowest increase in drag............... together with an indication of the drag produced and the change in geometric stalling angle..... ........ Because of the geometry of this arrangement... This provides a form of boundary layer control....... the wing area is increased giving a further increase in lift..--- __ -- . Fig... the early flow separation which occurs with the simple flap is avoided.. . than for a simple flap without a slot. o· a + drag generated Principles of Flight Lift Augmentation 6-5 ... 6-11. The split flap.... The Slotted Flap A slotted flap is a type of simple flap in which a slot is opened ----- up ahead of the flap when it is lowered.. Fig. moving from --------. A comparison between the typical gains made in CLmax with the use of different types of trailing-edge flap..... 6-8..... in which the boundary layer is re-energized-given greater kinetic energy. therefore higher than for the simple flap... only the lower surface of the a..... The Fowler Flap The Fowler flap is similar to the slotted flap.. Fig. as a larger wake is formed...... Fig. the flap also moves back.. .::::::::: high to lower pressure through the slot.. -- ----::::::. ~­ .. The Fowler flap is the most efficient of the trailing-edge flaps.....

plain wing~ ( \ \ \ \ '' " o· a Fig. Fig. at the wingtips. Automatic slats open when the required angle of attack is reached. but this is not common today because of the drag which the fixed slat generates at high speed. When they are fitted to modern aircraft. • the stall is delayed and will occur at a higher angle of attack. + Fig. Slats and Slots A slat is a small aerodynamic surface placed ahead of a main aerofoil. and • CLmax is increased.. it moves up and forward on its tracks.g. the effects are: • separation is delayed.. The slat is thus in operation when it is needed for lift augmentation at high angles of attack. The principle of operation of the slat-or rather. and closed to avoid the extra drag at low angles of attack. If the angle of attack of the wing is again decreased. the slot formed when it is open-has already been covered. and the pressure envelope over the upper surface is 'flattened out'. CL max ----~>­ increased. for these reasons. fixed slats normally cover a short part of the wingspan at a particular site-e. the effective angle of attack of the slat is negative and it is held firmly in the closed position. To avoid the drag penalty at high airspeed. most slats are retractable and open and close automatically. As illustrated in Fig 6-14. Air from below the wing accelerates through the slot and becomes directed tangentially back along the upper surface. to form a slot through which air can flow (Fig. At low angles of attack. adding kinetic energy to the boundary layer. stall delayed ~ ~. this process is reversed and the slat closes. As the angle of attack of the wing is increased it is accompanied by an increase in the upwash over the leading edge. Some older aircraft had fixed slats fitted forward of most of the leading edges of the wings. 6-13. 6-12. the effective angle of attack of the slat reaches the point where it begins to produce 'positive' lift. . 6-14.. 6-6 Lift Augmentation The Commercial Pilot Series . or near engine nacelles-where they are used to control the local airflow.___ with slat. 6-12). Slats provide an increase in coefficient of lift and a higher stalling angle. opening up the slot. When.

Leading-edge Flaps A number of large aircraft and some high-performance aircraft are fitted with leading-edge flaps. The effects of extending leading-edge flap are the same as for the trailing-edge variety. it becomes in effect a large slat. A typical arrangement is illustrated in Fig. note the extensive use of slots to provide take-off configuration boundary layer control. In this latter configuration. the control of leading-edge flap is activated from the cockpit and may be staged. and the lowest possible safe approach and landing speed. Two types of leading-edge flap.e. 6-15 illustrates two-a type of 'drooping' flap. Unlike automatic slats. Note that if the first type of flap is extended further to form a slot. 6-16 with the devices shown retracted for the cruise. obtain the highest possible increase in CLmax. and fully deployed for landing. i. Fig. There are a number of ways in which leading edge flap can be mechanised.edge surface hinges downward from the nose. leading-edge flaps (or slats) combined with multi- element slotted trailing edge flaps. except that if they are used on their own: • the stalling angle of attack is increased. partially deployed for take-off. which are normally operated in conjunction with trailing- edge flaps. and the Krueger type in which the lower leading. leading-edge droop Krueger flap Fig. 6-16. Fig. landing configuration Principles of Flight Lift Augmentation 6-7 . 6-15. The principle of operation is the same as for trailing-edge flaps-that of increasing the camber of the wing. in which the whole of the leading edge surface moves forward and down.. and • the CP moves forward. Combined High-lift Devices Larger air transport aircraft are usually equipped with a cruise configuration combination of the high-lift devices discussed thus far.

which when extended. that wing loses lift and the aircraft will roll in that direction. This improves the effectiveness of the wheel brakes. increases drag during the roll-out and. 6-8 Lift Augmentation The Commercial Pilot Series . thereby decreasing lift and increasing drag. the spoilers are hydraulically operated and deployed after touchdown to 'dump' the lift and increase the weight on the wheels. On large jet aircraft. Some jet transport aircraft also utilize differential spoilers to augment the ailerons in the control of the aircraft in roll. in some aircraft. quite the reverse). low rates of roll are controlled by the ailerons. With this arrangement. Glider pilots use mechanically-operated spoilers to reduce airspeed and/or steepen their descent path without increasing airspeed. disturb the airflow over the upper lift -producing part of the wing. Spoilers Although not a lift augmentation device (in fact. Most advanced jet transports and most gliders have spoilers on the upper surfaces of their wings. we cover spoilers in this chapter for convenience. When the spoiler on one wing is deployed. the appropriate spoiler is deployed or partially deployed to achieve the increased rate of roll. improves directional control in strong cross-wind conditions during the landing run. These are hinged surfaces. When a higher rate of roll is demanded by the pilot.

2..... the drag. 3...... The effect of leading-edge slat is to: (a) (delay/promote) separation.. Review 6 1. When flap is lowered: (a) CL is (increased/decreased) resulting in a (higher/lower) stall speed....... All types of flap work on the principle of increasing the effective . (b) (reduce/increase) stalling speed... Principles of Flight Lift Augmentation 6-9 . (c) The LID ratio is (improved/reduced)........ 5... the lift and .. and the Fowler flap... 7.... (c) (reduce/increase) stalling angle........ of the aerofoil section of which they are a part.. (b) C0 is (increased/decreased).. Sketch a split flap.... which ... Spoilers operate by (disturbing/smoothing out) the airflow over the top of the wing...... With trailing-edge flap lowered...... An effect of lowering leading-edge flaps is that the aircraft will stall at a (higher/lower) angle of attack...... a slotted flap..... 4....... the geometric stalling angle of attack is (reduced/increased). 6....

6-10 Lift Augmentation The Commercial Pilot Series .

nose high/nose low. thrust) is determined by what we do with the engine controls. descends. we often say about flying: power + attitude = performance. Conversely. Attitude is not the same thing as angle of attaclc At different times. we cover the effects of the flight controls (and associated controls) in changing and maintaining the attitude of the aircraft in the air. its performance will be determined by the power setting. or its position in flight. The attitude of an aircraft is its position in flight relative to the horizon-e. the three mutually perpendicular reference axes which pass through its centre of gravity (CG) are used. :!!! flightpath Fig. • Rotation about the lateral axis is known as pitch. The Primary Flight Controls To describe the attitude of an aircraft.g. In this chapter. Flight Controls Introduction What an aircraft does at any given time in the air-whether it flies level. Fig. banked or wings level. if a certain amount of power is set. 7-2 The aircraft axes. Power (or more specifically. If an aircraft is placed in a certain attitude. turns. Hence. 7-1. and in particular. the throttle(s). Any change in aircraft attitude is about the CG and can be expressed in terms of rotation about these three aircraft axes. etc-is determined by the pilot placing it in a certain attitude with a certain power setting. Same nose attitude. • Rotation about the longitudinal axis is known as roll. These are surfaces which. climbs. different angle of attack and different flightpath. and • Rotation about the normal axis is known as yaw. alter the pattern of the airflow around the wings and the tail section. when deflected. the performance which results will depend on the attitude being held by the pilot. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-1 . causing changes in the aerodynamic forces that they generate. an aircraft can have the same attitude but be at a different angle of attack and following a different flightpath. The attitude of the aircraft is controlled with the main flight controls.

The control column serves exactly the same function. and is operated by the rudder pedals. However. Moving the control column f01ward or backward operates the elevator. (Covered in the previous chapter). Other associated controls include: • trim tabs (situated on the trailing edge of the control surfaces). NOTE: Some aircraft are fitted with a control column or 'stick'. 7-2 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . control surfaces are hinged so that they change the camber of the parent aerofoil in two directions. Fig. • The rudder (hinged to the trailing edge of the fin) which controls the yawing of the nose left or right. the use of the term control column applies equally to the control wheel. 7-3. moving it sideways operates the ailerons. In this manual. by comparison with flaps (which change the camber of the wing in one direction). The primary controls. and • the wing flaps (situated on the inner trailing edge of each wing). • The ailerons (hinged to the outer trailing edge of each wing) which control rolling of the aircraft. power elevator and thrust Fig. 7-4. and is operated from the cockpit with fore and aft movements of the control wheel. The control wheel and the control column. and operated by a manual lever or electrical switch. The maximum angle through which control surfaces can be deflected is usually also much less than that of the flaps. and are operated by rotation of the control wheel. instead of a control wheel. and usually operated by trim wheels or handles in the cockpit. The conventional flight controls used to affect movement about these axes are: The elevator (hinged to the trailing edge of the tailplane) which controls pitching of the nose up or down. Principle of Operation The aerodynamic principle of operation of conventional flight controls is the same as described in the previous chapter for the simple flap.

a consequence of using elevator is to cause the airspeed to change. conversely. There is therefore no seconda1y effect of using elevator. the pilot sets the required attitude with reference to the horizon which he or she can see in the general area forward of the nose.. Control in pitch. If the elevator alone is used. 7-5. meaning movement of the nose up or down. Separate horizontal stabilizer plus elevator. (For example. it does not cause the aircraft to roll or yaw. The elevator is the main means of achieving control in pitch. the instruments inside the cockpit are then checked to see if any adjustments are required to the attitude selected. serves the same purpose of providing control in pitch and longitudinal stability. The primary effect of moving the elevator is to pitch the nose up or down. ~ aerodynamic force . However. In normal flight attitudes. Each design however.~ A]i 1 DOWN -~~~===o::::::::*:• \ down downward elevator aerodynamic force Fig. __/ __/ fixed horizontal stabilizer all-moving tail plus moving elevator (or "all-flying"/slab tail) Fig. is achieved by forward and backward movement of the control column. 7-6.. which moves the elevator. pitching the nose up leads to a lower airspeed. hence flying attitudes must be carefully selected and held if a reasonable degree of accuracy is to be achieved. if level flight is required.How Control in Flight is Achieved When flying by visual reference. quite small changes in the pitch attitude and in roll can have a significant effect on the desired performance.!. This alters the aerodynamic force produced by the tailplane which rotates the aircraft about its CG to change the pitch attitude. Once the aircraft has been held and has settled in that attitude for a short while with the appropriate power set. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-3 .) For most aircraft at normal flying speed.. Other aircraft have an 'all-moving' or 'all- flying' tail in which the angle of attack of the tailplane is changed.. control column control column back forward upward __. Some aircraft have a fixed horizontal stabilizer with a moving elevator. pitching the nose down leads to a higher airspeed and. which operates by changing the camber. all-moving (or all-flying tail). the altimeter may be checked.

Once this slip occurs. A secondary or further effect is to cause yaw (movement about the normal axis). The secondary effect of aileron is yaw.e. 7-7. In summary. to yaw. Ailerons: one up. Control in roll. This moves the ailerons. and is generally more pronounced when large aileron deflections are used to roll the aircraft quickly.iii' Fig. This varies from aircraft to aircraft depending on design.. one down. The left aileron goes up. When the aircraft is banked. the tilted lift vector combined with the weight of the aircraft produce a resultant force which will cause the aircraft to slip sideways toward the lower wingtip. If the ailerons alone are used to roll the aircraft and no other control action is taken. To roll to the left the control wheel is rotated to the left. the sequence is: roll-slip-and then yaw. i. The primary effect of moving the ailerons is to roll the aircraft. the lift vector is tilted in the direction of the bank. (and control of bank angle). the airflow impinging on the greater area of 'fin' surface behind the CG will cause the aircraft to 'weathercock' in the direction of the bank. 7-8.produces rolling motion about CG. Another secondary effect of aileron in the yawing plane is called adverse yaw. The roll can be stopped and controlled at the desired bank angle with the control wheel/control column. is achieved by rotating the control wheel or by moving the control column to the left or right.. r roll w Fig. L L ~ L L --li t . 7-4 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . The result is that the aircraft will roll to the left. At the same time the right aileron goes down. t 7 CG . causing a decrease in lift from the left wing. which are on the outer trailing edge of the wings. causing an increase in lift from the right wing.

with the rudder pressure being reduced when the roll is stopped.When aileron is applied to roll the aircraft. Any tendency for adverse yaw and the resulting skid can be easily counteracted by the use of rudder in the direction of roll._lift reduced aircraft are designed in such a way as to reduce or counteract the effects of adverse yaw. • Coupling of controls. adverse yaw is considerably reduced. Fig. spoilers are used on some large aircraft to achieve control in roll. When rolled. will cause the nose to yaw through several degrees (until it is roll to the left balanced by the 'weathercocking' forces). Other methods for counteracting the effects of adverse yaw include: • Differential ailerons. if no action is taken with the rudder to correct it. In the Frise-type aileron. as the sole means of lateral control at high speeds. In this way. for example. This difference in 'aileron' drag between each wing manifests itself as adverse yaw-or yaw in the opposite direction to the application of aileron. On some aircraft. 7-10. As covered in the previous chapter.. most aircraft will require such use of rudder coordinated with the use of aileron to prevent skidding. the camber of the downgoing wing is decreased with a resulting decrease of lift and drag. • The use of spoilers. the nose of the aileron protrudes below the wing when it is deflected upward thereby increasing drag at the same time as the lift is reduced. and the aircraft will skid. Application of aileron can desired angle of bank and the ailerons are returned cause an adverse yaw. the downgoing aileron is deflected through a smaller angle than the upgoing aileron. The spoilers are usually used in conjunction with the ailerons or. the camber of the outer section of the upgoing wing is increased. in some cases. The Frise-type Aileron design can reduce adverse yaw. When used for this purpose. Conversely. Adverse yaw is only present while the ailerons are deflected and. The ailerons (or lateral control systems) of many t . the rudder moves automatically to counteract the adverse yaw. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-5 . Once the aircraft has reached the Fig. Both the lift and the drag of that wing are increased. thereby reducing the difference in drag and adverse yaw. and the increase in drag on that wing offsets the tendency for adverse yaw. more or less to a neutral position. the drag of each of the wings is more drag increased evenly balanced when aileron is applied. the rudder is coupled to the ailerons so that when there is a given aileron control input. the spoiler is deployed only on the downgoing wing to reduce its lift. 7-9.. For a given movement of the control column.

7-12. A small coordination ball (or balance ball) on the flight instrument panel is the prime indicator to the pilot that the rudder is being used correctly. since: • strong yawing of the nose to one side will speed up the outer wing. Summary of the Main Flight Controls Plane Axis CONTROL Primary Effect Further Effect pitch lateral Elevator pitch . Moving the elevator has no effect on aircraft attitude other than in pitch. the wing which is to the rear is slightly shielded ('blanketed') from the oncoming airflow. and • in aircraft with dihedral (wing tips higher than wing roots). Control of yaw is achieved through the rudder. • once the aircraft begins to skid. When the fore and aft axis of the aircraft is correctly aligned with the direction of flight. The prim my effect of rudder is to yaw the aircraft. The coordination (or balance) ball is the prime indicator of whether rudder is be!'ng used correctly. 7-6 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . A secondary or further effect is to cause a roll. which will then produce fractionally more lift. the aircraft will be properly balanced (or coordinated).• roll longitudinal Ailerons roll yaw yaw normal Rudder yaw roll * There is no 'further effect' of elevator. Some examples of the use of the coordination ball are illustrated in Fig 7-11. the forward wing in the skid has a slightly higher effective angle of attack resulting in more lift. skid to the right correctly balanced slip to the left correctly balanced right rudder required left rudder required Fig. The airspeed change which follows movement of the elevator is more accurately described as a consequence. yaw ~ skid outer wing travels faster rear wing blanketed dihedral effect (exaggerated) by fuselage Fig. The coordination ball is normally kept centred using rudder pressure-so that the aircraft is not slipping or skidding sideways. 7-11. which is in turn operated by the pilot using the rudder pedals. resulting in less lift. The secondary effect of rudder is roll in the direction of yaw.

the cockpit controls are mechanically linked to the control surfaces. the slipstream makes the elevator and rudder more effective at high power settings and low airspeeds. the tailplane/elevator) are outside the slipstream and are not affected by it. the force required to move the controls (stick force) increases with airspeed. strengthens the airflow over the tailplane and increases the magnitude of the downward force. The ailerons (and on some high T-tail aircraft. roll and yaw. causing a tendency for the nose to rise. As discussed in more detail in Chapter 9. The stick force is provided synthetically and the force required to move the controls will generally remain constant regardless of airspeed. Slipstream increases power is reduced. In most light aircraft. the slipstream usually envelops the fuselage and flows back over the empennage. In this type of system. as shown in Fig. the tailplane usually develops a small downward force to balance the aircraft . Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-7 . the flight control system is usually hydraulically powered. A further effect of slipstream is in changing the aerodynamic balancing force developed by the tailplane when power is changed. larger control movements are needed to obtain the same aircraft response at low speeds. The flight controls will feel firmer and less movement will be required to achieve the same effect. 7-13. 7-14. In larger aircraft. At slow speed. The Effect of Slipstream The slipstream is the body of faster-moving air which is accelerated rearward by the propeller. The influence of the slipstream on rudder and elevator effectiveness phases out as speed is increased and/or Fig. To prevent any unwanted change in attitude. Increasing power usually causes a nose-up tendency. An increase in power and slipstream. the stick forces are reduced and the control column and rudder must be moved through greater distances to achieve the same response from the aircraft in pitch. (which can be opposed with elevator pressure). 7-14. The Effect of Airspeed on the Controls Increased airspeed over the flight-control surfaces makes them more effective. low thrust aerodynamic greater force aerodynamic nose rotates force upward about CG Fig. On single- engined propeller aircraft. To a degree depending on aircraft design. However. the pilot must stop the nose from rising with forward elevator pressure as power is added. as for light aircraft. rudder and elevator effectiveness.

Yet another effect of slipstream is the yawing effect which occurs when power is increased or decreased in a single-engined aircraft. where two of the functions of the elevator. Counteract the yawing effect of slipstream with rudder. 7-15. if power and the slipstream are reduced: • the effectiveness of the elevator and rudder is reduced . • tends to make the nose rise. if the coordination ball is centred and power is reduced. Conversely. Conversely. and • yaw to the left. a reduction in power and slipstream will cause the nose to drop-which can be countered with back pressure on the control column to hold the nose up in desired position. as power is increased the stronger slipstream: • increases the effectiveness of the elevator and rudder. less right rudder pressure (or possibly left rudder pressure) will be needed to keep the aircraft balanced with the ball in the centre. Conversely. if the aircraft is trimmed with power on. particularly at slow speed. and the use of the vee (or butterfly tail). Unconventional Control Configurations The layout of the control surfaces in some aircraft is different from the conventional configuration described in the foregoing. and • tends to yaw to the right. These unconventional configurations include the canard configuration. Summary of the Effects of Slipstream on the Controls For most single engined propeller aircraft. rudder and ailerons are variously combined in one control surface. the slipstream 'corkscrews' back around the fuselage and strikes the left side of the fin (for propellers rotating clockwise when viewed from the cockpit-the usual direction of rotation in modern aircraft). elevons and !ailerons. In travelling back from the propeller. • the nose drops. (2) increased slipstream on left side of fin (for clockwise rotation of slipstream) Fig. but can be easily counteracted by applying sufficient right rudder to keep the coordination ball centred. This will tend to yaw the nose of the aircraft to the left as power is increased. 7-8 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series .

Control in pitch is provided by having the elevons move up and down in unison. A number of advantages are claimed for this type of configuration. More advanced aircraft also have rudder trim (yaw) and some also have aileron trim (roll). If the control column is moved fore and aft. the control surface will maintain its angle of deflection when the moment created by the trim tab is equal and opposite to the moment of the control surface itself. with the left and right halves of the tailplane able to be moved in unison for control in pitch. The trim tab operates by creating a small aerodynamic force acting near the trailing edge of a control surface which is used to hold the surface at the desired angle of deflection. or be of the all-moving slab type for control in pitch. 7-16c. 7-16a. A design feature sometimes seen in light aircraft is the vee (or butterfly) tail in which the function of the elevator and rudder are combined. The canard configuration (Fig. 7-17. lower weight and better spin-recovery characteristics. which are operated from the cockpit by trim wheels. the need for a complicated Fig. An aircraft which is properly trimmed is far more pleasant to fly than one which is out of trim. Fig. This type of arrangement is sometimes seen on delta-wing aircraft. are devices to relieve the pilot from having to hold constant pressure on the control column or rudder. including less drag. Tailerons also combine the function of the elevator with the ailerons. roll and yaw when it maintains a constant attitude without the pilot having to exert any steady pressure on the controls. the function of the elevator is combined with that of the ailerons. 7-16b. 7-16a) employs a foreplane (as opposed to a tailplane) in which the horizontal stabilizer is !' placed ahead of the wings. The main need for trim is in pitch. both control surfaces move up and down to provide control in pitch. If rudder is applied. operation of the trim wheel or handle in the cockpit varies the angle at which a trim tab on the trailing edge of the control surface is set. The canard may have a separate canard (or forep!ane) conventional-style elevator. In this arrangement. Control in roll is achieved by having the elevons move asymmetrically. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-9 . With elevons. Fig. the control surfaces move asymmetrically to provide control in yaw. or independently for control in roll. handles or electrical trim 'buttons'. differential gearing mechanism between the elevator and rudder controls must be seen as a disadvantage. In the usual trim system. Tailerons Trim Controls An aircraft is in trim in pitch. As shown in Fig. and so all aircraft are fitted with elevator (or pitch) trim. The vee tail. 7-16d. Fig. However. It will virtually fly 'hands off and require control inputs only to manoeuvre but not to maintain an attitude or heading. The trim controls. Elevons. a slab tailplane is employed.

if right rudder pressure is required. Similarly. The control surface will f hinge maintain its position when its aerodynamic moment (F x d) is balanced by the moment of the trim tab force (f x D). The correct method of trimming. (1) hold steady pressure on (4) When trimmed. trim force Fig. move or rotate the rudder trim control (if fitted) to the right.g. the attitude of the aircraft should be changed with the main flight controls and not by using the trim controls.~ )liJfr. 7-10 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . Trim controls are very useful devices. Trim controls are very powerful and if they are moved too quickly or suddenly this can result in a rapid change in aircraft attitude and. control control column pressure is relieved t I I ----. the trim is released and should return to the OFF position. 7-18. For the same reason. main aerodynamic fore~ F control force The correct method of trimming is to hold the aircraft in the required attitude with steady pressure on the controls and then trim this pressure off. 7-17. The trim controls should be moved gradually and steadily. When the control pressure is relieved. the trim switch is held in the f01ward direction. move the button or switch in the natural and instinctive sense until the pressure is relieved-for example if f01ward control pressure is required. it will be spring-loaded in the central OFF position. If the trim control is an electrical button (or switch). Develop the habit of using them whenever trimming or re-trimming is required.~ ~ / (3) trim tab @------------------------// moves (2) turn trim wheel slowly in same direction as control pressure Fig. possibly. if steady elevator back pressure is needed. To remove a steady pressure being held on a flying control. then rotate the top of the trim wheel or move the trim control backward to relieve the pressure. The trim controls operate in the natural sense-e. over-stressing of the airframe. Flying an aircraft which is correctly trimmed is much more comfortable and usually produces more accurate results.

in effect. The acceleration of the airflow around the nose of the control surface (when it is in this protruded position) causes a decrease in pressure in that area. which is the function of facilitating the 'easy' movement of controls by the pilot. an up elevator-by holding the control column back) the aerodynamic force produced by the control surface itself opposes its deflection.e. Fig. which results in the CP of the control surface moving closer to the hinge-line. The greater the distance between this centre of pressure and the hinge line. There is. 7-20. It is achieved by arranging the distribution of the mass (or weight) of the control surface so that its centre of gravity is at an appropriate distance from the hinge line. The control force moment determines the ease with which a control can be moved. further reducing the control moment. In addition. The pilot must overcome this moment to maintain the desired control position and feels this as stick force. 7-19) which tries to return it to its original faired (i. horn balance and balance tabs. the greater the moment of the force which resists the pilot's input and the higher the stick force. streamlined) position. By altering the design of the control surface and the positioning of its hinge line. an aerodynamic force acting on the control ahead of the hinge line which helps to keep it deflected. Inset Hinges If the hinge line of the control surface is inset.Balancing of Controls There are two types of balancing: • Aerodynamic balancing. This causes a moment to act on the control surface about its hinge line (Fig. which is the function of eliminating 'flutter' of a control. • Mass balancing. when the hinge line is inset in this way. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-11 . Aerodynamic Balance When a control surface is deflected (for example. The main reason for aerodynamic balancing is to ease the difficulty with which a control can be moved. as illustrated in Fig. the distance between the hinge-line and the CP of the control is reduced-thus the control force moment (and the stick force) will also be reduced. Methods for providing aerodynamic balance include the use of inset hinges. it is possible to adjust the control force moment so that the stick forces are neither too light or too heavy. the nose of the control surface protrudes up (or down) into the airflow when the control is deflected. __/distance Note that the aerodynamic force produced by the deflected control acts through the centre of pressure for the control surface. It is achieved by designing the control surface so that its centre of pressure is at an appropriate distance from the hinge line. 7-19.

In an extreme case. the overall centre of pressure of the control surface is brought closer to the hinge line and the control moment is reduced. I I I I If<. ~ control surface ~ force ~-····. which can be defined as one 7-12 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . 7-21. The inset hinge line reduces the control moment and the stick force required from the pilot.. Shielded and unshielded hom balance. 7-20. hinge-line ' hinge-line aileron I control I surface I I I I I +--1----" inset hinges distance reduced ? Fig. distance reduced ' 1 shielded horn . Horn Balance Horn balance is achieved when a control surface is designed with a portion which protrudes ahead of the hinge line. Both types operate on the same principle as the inset hinge. making the controls too sensitive and the aircraft difficult to fly.····· ··~ ~ o__:. control surface force ~ I I I I !f<. If this is done. distance reduced Fig... the stick force will be reversed and the control will have to be forcibly prevented from going to full deflection of its own accord. as shown in Fig 7-21. if the CP of the control surface moves fmward of the hinge line... This is known as an aerodynamically 'overbalanced' control.. !'. the stick forces may be too light.~. As the horn is ahead of the hinge line. The protruding portion (the 'horn') can be shielded or unshielded. With both the inset hinge and the horn balance. the designer must be careful not to bring the centre of pressure too close to the hinge line.

On more sophisticated aircraft. Compared with the conventional tailplane/elevator arrangement. the all-flying tail has the potential to provide a much more powerful and stronger pitching force. balance tabs may also be fitted on the ailerons and rudder. the elevator balance tab unit now generates a small upward aerodynamic force which helps to move the elevator up. It is mechanically connected to the elevator by a linkage which causes it to move in the opposite direction. As shown in Fig. 7-22. Anti-balance Tabs In aircraft fitted with an all-moving tail ('all-flying' or 'slab' tail) the centre of pressure of the control surface and its hinge line are relatively close. If the aircraft is fitted with a balance tab. is known as an aerodynamically 'unbalanced' control. The antibalance tab improves control 'feel' and prevents overbalance. If the pilot exerts back pressure on the control column. The balance tab. a balance tab is sometimes incorporated as part of the elevator. for a given deflection of the control surface and a given stick force. Balance Tabs On conventional tailplanes. 7-22.which has its centre of pressure too close to the hinge line. ___ramie ~rce ' CP small aerodynamic force provided by small hinge moment anti-balance tab Fig. its movement should be checked in the pre-flight inspection by moving the elevator one way and noting that the tab moves in the opposite direction. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-13 . The trim tab will only move when the pilot moves the trim control. The balance tab moves automatically as the elevator is moved. NOTE: Although it is similar in appearance to the trim tab (Figs. a control which has its centre of pressure too far behind the hinge line and which is difficult to manipulate. 7-23. (1) back pressure (2) elevator (3) balance tab on control goes up goes column creating- main aerodynamic force (4) small aerodynamic from horizontal stabilizer force which helps and elevator move elevator up Fig. thereby reducing the control load required of the pilot. 7-17 and 7-18) the balance tab serves a different function as has been described. the elevator is raised and the balance tab goes down. At the other end of the scale.

and to provide better elevator control 'feel'. (exaggerated for purposes of explanation). In this way. In smaller aircraft. Indeed. If the trailing edge of the all-moving tail is moved down. 7-24. In flight. t aileron la. a well-designed anti-balance tab will provide the right amount of 'stick force'-i. all-moving tailplanes are often fitted with an anti-balance tab. the anti-balance tab is also linked to the trim wheel so that it can be used as a trim tab as well. if the trailing edge of the all-moving tail moves up. when it is deflected. as shown in Fig. the elevator control force tends to be light. However. the wings of most large aircraft are noticeably flexible-with the wing tips bending upward by several metres as the aircraft becomes airborne and the wings take up the aerodynamic loading. The anti-balance tab moves in the opposite direction to the balance tab previously described (hence the name). Flexural aileron flutter. the centre of pressure of the control surface could move forward of the hinge line giving it the tendency to go to full deflection by itself. Mass Balancing All structures twist and bend (flex) under load-the fuselage and wings of an aircraft are no exception. twisting and bending of the wings and fuselage may not be noticeable. the wings of large passenger aircraft can be clearly seen to flex up and down as the load varies in turbulence. but it will be present to some degree as these structures can never be completely rigid. There is also the possibility that the control will overbalance-that is. 7-23. To avoid the possibility of overbalance. increasing wing flex wing reaches elastic limit and begins to spring back down aileron lags behind. the anti-balance tab also moves down to provide a small aerodynamic force to oppose the control column movement. Conversely.e.-L gust makes wing flex upward Fig. Movement of the tab is automatically provided through its linkage with the all- moving tail. in most cases. increasing downward flex which continues to lower elastic limit and the cycle repeats itself 7-14 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . aileron hinge CG c t.s behind. the anti-balance tab also moves up. Because of the small hinge moment inherent in the all-moving tailplane. the elevator will not feel too light or too heavy.

if left unchecked. ~---~ <::. the mass may have to be fixed externally on an arm which projects ahead of the hinge line. is called aileron reversal. The elevator and rudder control surfaces are also liable to flutter but. Modern aircraft with hydraulically powered control systems are less sensitive to control flutter because of the inherent rigidity of the control system.24.·:: -'\. Consider a wing which is subject to a transient upward and downward bending motion due perhaps to turbulence.:. Aileron flutter is liable to occur if the centre of mass (CG) of the control surface is some distance behind the hinge line and. it lags behind the rest of the outer wing in its movement up and down. With this effect being mirrored by the other wing (angle of attack increased). is illustrated in Fig. When this occurs. the upward force at the rear of the outer wing can cause the leading edge to twist downward such that the overall angle of attack of the outer wing is reduced. This decreases the tendency for the control to lag behind through inertia when the aircraft structure bends or twists. Fig. torsional axis ~~---~---! A similar process called torsional aileron flutter can occur if the wing is able to twist about its lateral axis.This structural flexibility can lead to control 'flutter' at high speeds on some aircraft. a constant hydraulic pressure can be maintained at the control servos. Mass balancing must be applied to control systems which are prone to flutter. (Although the hydraulic supply lines may be flexible.l··~ ~- causes the outer wing to twist alternatively nose up and nose down (or oscillate) as shown in Fig 7-25. Aileron reversal is avoided by constructing the wing with sufficient stiffness about the torsional axis. the hinge line. can impose severe loadings on the wings and empennage of an aircraft and lead to structural failure. Fig. Flutter is a vibration or high-speed oscillation of a control surface which. This means that extra mass (weight) must be added to the control surfaces to bring their respective centre of mass (CG) at. this is less likely than with the ailerons. If this is not possible. In aircraft which already have aerodynamic horn or inset hinge balancing. This process. the changes in camber of the outer wing which are caused by the 'lagging' aileron magnify the flexing of the wing caused by the original oscillation and may make it self-generating-i. and through the use of spoilers to control roll at high speeds. Extra mass is added where indicated to bring the CG closer to the hinge line. this extra mass can be concealed within the control surface in the horn or forward of the inset hinge line.:. which prevents the control surface from moving). the lag due to the inertia of the aileron. as they are attached to shorter and stiffer structures. Torsional aileron flutter.. 7~25. As the aileron is moved down with the intention of raising the wing. Mass balancing. 7. because of inertia. 7-26. the aircraft will roll in the opposite direction to the pilot's input of aileron. Principles of Flight Flight Controls 7-15 . Another effect which can occur if the wing twists about its torsional axis. flutter. or close to. called flexural aileron flutter. In this case. The flutter mechanism also requires that the control system linkages are sufficiently elastic and 'stretch' enough to allow the control surface to deviate from its normal position.e.

. to achieve control in . 14......... 15... To trim out a stick force.. Rotation of an aircraft: (a) about the lateral axis is called ...... 16.. .. A consequence of using elevator is to cause a change in ................. For most single-engined aircraft.. List four measures used for counteracting or reducing the effects of adverse yaw....... 4. .... : (c) rudder....................... 5......... the trim tab itself must be deflected in the (same direction as/opposite direction to) the control surface deflection..... .... plus ... to achieve control in .. II......... 8........ and (c) yaw to the (left/right)..................... is a yaw in the (same direction as/opposite direction to) the direction of aileron application.. An antibalance tab moves in the (same direction as/opposite direction to) the deflection of the parent control surface.......... 2.. and stick forces will be ....... Review 7 I... Conventional flight controls are: (a) elevator... 3....... State three methods of achieving aerodynamic balance....... 6.......... often used in flying is: ............ Increased airspeed over the control surfaces will make them more ........ Mass balancing is a matter of adjusting the CG of the control surface so that it is (closer to/further from) the hinge line.................. to achieve control in .... equals performance..................... : (b) about the longitudinal axis is called . The adverse yaw which can follow the use of aileron. 12...... I 0.... . The stick forces of an 'overbalanced' control will be (too heavy/too light)....... 9.. 13....... The secondary effect of aileron is to cause ........... The secondary effect of rudder is to cause ................ Sketch an aircraft and draw in and name the three mutually perpendicular axes which run through its CG... 7....... 7-16 Flight Controls The Commercial Pilot Series . as power is increased the stronger slipstream (a) (increases/decreases) the effectiveness of elevator and rudder. : (c) about the normal axis is called ......... (b) tends to make the nose (rise/drop)........... . : (b) aileron. Aerodynamic balancing is achieved by adjusting the distance of the (centre of pressure/centre of gravity) of the control surface from its hinge line............. A saying........ 17..

and is a measure of how effective the particular aerofoil is in generating lift. and • the wing area (S)-which is conventionally taken to be the planform area of the wings. we saw that lift is a force made up of three basic factors: • the lift coefficient (CL) which depends basically on the wing section and angle of attc. the speed at which an aircraft will reach the stalling angle of attack depends on a number of factors. And. The Stall and the Lift Formula If an aircraft is to fly level. which then becomes fixed for that configuration. in an extreme case. To enable pilots to do this safely and confidently. A given wing section (cross-sectional shape) has a certain value of CL at a given angle of attack. Note carefully that the angle of attack for CLmax. • YzpV2 . There is frequently a need to fly the aircraft with the wings close to the stalling angle-for example. is measured by the airspeed indicator in terms of indicated airspeed (lAS). there is a need for the pilot to be practised in. as a result. The aerodynamics of the stalling process for an aerofoil have been covered in detail in previous chapters. In simple terms. Except for deliberate stalling practice and some aerobatic manoeuvres. there must be sufficient lift to balance the weight. If the shape of the wing section is changed (for instance. there is a need to understand and recognise the symptoms of the stall so that the necessary action can be taken to avoid a stall if these symptoms should appear. the airflow breaks away (or separates) from the upper surface and.Stalling and Spinning Stalling Introduction The stall is a condition of flight in which the angle of attack of the wing exceeds its critical (or stalling) angle. which means that CLmax will occur at a fixed angle of attack for that wing section. stalled flight is normally avoided because of the loss of lift (usually involving a loss of height) and the possibility. When discussing the lift formula in Chapter 4. as we shall see shortly. by lowering flap) then the CLmax will have a new value which will be found at a different angle of attack. as explained in Chapter 3. and be able to apply. Most aircraft do not have a direct indication of angle of attack in the cockpit and. the appropriate recovery technique promptly and effectively. there is a large reduction in the lift produced. is fixed. for a given configuration. Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-1 . of loss of control. the wing operates beyond its angle of attack for CLmax. A fixed-wing aircraft is operated normally with an angle of attack from a few degrees above the 'zero-lift' angle (usually associated with high speeds) up to the angle for CLmax (usually associated with slow speeds in straight and level flight/higher speeds when manoeuvring). on take-off and during the approach to land. in the event that an inadvertent stall does occur. We have seen that when a wing is taken beyond its stalling angle.ck. the expression for the dynamic energy contained in the moving airstream which.

it was desired to fly at a high lAS. a reduction in /AS is compensated by an increase in CL so that lift continues to equal weight. certain symptoms (or indications) will become apparent to a degree which will va1y from one aircraft to another and from one configuration to another.g. lAS . thrust will be reduced and the aircraft will decelerate since the drag is no longer being overcome. The wing surface (S) is also a fixed value for a given wing configuration. If the throttle is closed. if the airspeed is reducing and continues to reduce. But. for example. since S is for practical purposes. 100KIA~ 4'" I 80 KIASL 8' " I 60 KIASL 12° a r ~ ~ ~ J J J Fig. the pilot must match the reduction in airspeed with increases in CL (angle of attack). 8-1 refers). Soon. the stalling angle of attack must inevitably be reached. we can say that: Lift = CL . If. the lift formula can be expressed as: Lift = CL. e. These are: • Reducing airspeed. Note that we did not say 'low' or a 'reduction in' airspeed because it is possible to fly an aircraft at a low speed for as long as the fuel lasts. it must be matched by one. a constant. Symptoms of the Stall When approaching the stall. but whatever value is chosen. without necessarily stalling. 8-2 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . In straight and level flight. Alternatively. s and. as far as the pilot is concerned. To remain in level flight. the angle of attack must be relatively high-to provide the high CL required. if a slow airspeed was desired. and only one. Consider now a typical light aircraft in straight and level flight at a given speed (Fig. flaps up or down. lAS Hence. from a practical point of view. angle of attack (to provide the correct CL for the aircraft to remain level). which is defined as the lAS at which an aircraft reaches its stall angle in straight and level flight while in the 'clean'. 8-1. the pilot may choose to fly at any lAS within the normal range obtainable. the production of lift in any given aircraft configuration depends only on the angle of attack and the lAS. an lAS must be reached where the associated angle of attack reaches the value for CLmax. the angle of attack must be relatively low-to provide the low CL. For flight at a constant height where lift must remain equally opposed to the aircraft weight. power-off configuration. Thus. The lAS at which that occurs is called the basic stall speed. Any further reduction in airspeed can no longer be matched with an increase in CL to compensate and the aircraft will stall.

• High nose attitude. There are some other 'tell-tale' signs which may also accompany an approach to the stall but.• Reducing control effectiveness. Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-3 . as they may not always be present. its effectiveness. A consequence of reduced control effectiveness is the need to increase the amount of control movement to produce the same effect as the speed falls off. they cannot. In many stalls the nose attitude is indeed high. if the angle of attack is further increased. But if control effectiveness is reducing and is allowed to continue doing so. the wake will generally pass 'over the top' whereas in low-wing aircraft. Again note we do not say 'less effective controls' because it is possible to have less effective controls and yet not stall. and through that. that the wing is sure to stall. They are: • Lower noise level. As the wings approach the stalling angle. there is a brief period where the nose attitude is relatively high and the relative airflow becomes directed more from below. but as the aircraft can be made to stall in any nose attitude. For example. the wake envelops most of the aft fuselage and control surfaces. when on a descending approach to land with the relative airflow coming from below. you will note that the peak of the curve (for the GP-type aerofoil) is well rounded and that for a few degrees angle of attack before CLmax is reached. It occurs because the speed at which the airflow passes a deflected control determines the lift force from that control. This. accelerates the onset of the stall proper. • Buffet (or judder). This factor is greatly subject to individual perception. in effect. This buffet is a good indication that the stalling angle is very close and. be called symptoms. it cannot be taken as a sure sign that the stall is being approached. it is certain that the stalling angle must ultimately be reached. there is a growth in the the turbulent wake behind the wing. • The sink. the separation point begins to move more rapidly forward over the upper surface and. This causes a rapid increase in angle of attack and. coupled with the reduction in elevator effectiveness at slow speed. it is quite possible to stall the aircraft with a nose-low attitude. The amount and intensity of pre-stall buffet varies considerably between aircraft designs. there is a reduction in the noise level in most aircraft. Some of this turbulent flow impinges on the aft fuselage and tail unit causing a shaking-known as pre-stall or control buffet-which can be felt through the airframe as well as through the controls. Referring back to the CL cUlve in Fig. Once the aircraft sinks. in high-wing aircraft. 4-2. there is a significant drop-off in the rate of increase in CL with angle of attack. technically. as a result. For instance. When approaching the basic stall without power. The reduction in control effectiveness is allied to the reducing airspeed. generally means that the angle of attack approaching the stall cannot be increased fast enough to prevent loss of lift and some pre-stall sink taking place. Other signs The foregoing symptoms occur with all aircraft to some greater or lesser degree as the stalling angle is approached and reached.

This rearward movement of the CP results in a nose-down pitch which tends to reduce the angle of attack and unstall the wings. it is possible to bring the aircraft to the stall at an lAS higher than the basic stalling speed. • Low airspeed. However. Underneath the wing the flow remains streamlined and there is a relatively high pressure which provides some lift. With the formation of the larger turbulent wake. 'stick shakers' will normally be fitted to artificially introduce a buffet-type warning. the streamline flow over most of the upper surface of the wing separates and a large turbulent wake is formed. Most modern aircraft are equipped with devices which warn the pilot of high angle of attack situations. the centre of pressure (CP) will have moved gradually forward to be at about 15 . • Stall warning devices. Approaching the stall. and could even be close to cruising airspeed values.20% chord by the time the critical angle is reached. in any situation where the wings are producing more lift than is required for level flight-such as in a turn or manoeuvring-the stalling speed will be higher. The degree of pitch down depends largely on: 8-4 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . As will be explained shortly.elflighttsres~ ~~~ J (power now re-applied) RAF Fig. In fact. as the aircraft has at the same time lost lift and is sinking with increased drag. the relative airflow is from below. However. the CP moves rapidly rearward to about the mid-chord position. the separation point moves forward rapidly. Sequence of events in the stall and recovery without power. or a whistle noise which increases in pitch as the angle of attack gets closer to the stalling value (typically Cessna aircraft). In aircraft fitted with hydraulic control systems which prevent buffet from being felt through the controls. Thus the point of stall is characterised by the nose pitching down as the angle of attack goes beyond CLmax. which usually results in the aircraft remaining above the stalling angle of attack-particularly if the pilot continues to hold the stick back. The Stall At the stall. there is a substantial increase in drag. These devices take the form of warning lights (typically Piper aircraft). as the low pressure area over the upper surface collapses. 8-2. exceeds 16" 'wake expands buffet sets in close to 50KIAS aircraft sinks and stall angle is exceeded more than 50KIAS height nose has dropped loss unstalled the aircraft ~ le•. 52 KIAS <J~~~~ RAF 50 K!AS a. net production of lift is sharply reduced. As the flow over the upper surface breaks down at the stall.

forward thrust accelerates the aircraft faster than is the case without applying power and it then becomes possible to raise the nose of the aircraft at an earlier stage. any alteration to lift requirement (for a given configuration) does not affect the stall angle but does affect the stall speed. Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-5 . it has incurred a considerable loss of height and this is clearly unsatisfactory should an unintended stall have taken place when height above the ground is limited. CL and lAS. Thus. it follows that the recovery must entail reducing the angle of attack to a value lower than CLmax. Note: Power does not recover an aircraft from the stall. When the control column is eased fmward and power applied. This can only be achieved by decreasing the angle of attack. When the level flight attitude is regained.• The shape of the wing section. Very often. Reduction in height loss during stall recovery can be facilitated through the use of full power. Fig. (We will shortly be examining the factors affecting the stalling speed). involves a relatively low nose attitude and the pitch-down motion at the stall is not large. Stalling with flaps down. power applied and level flight re-established. Although recovery from the stall has been successful. stabilizer/elevator design and aircraft configuration. the two practical variables in the lift formula. Higher speed wing sections with sharp leading edges can be expected to stall with a lower nose attitude but with a more abrupt pitch-down. Once sufficient airspeed has been attained. Interim Summary If the amount of lift is to remain constant. 8-2 showed that fmward stick had lowered the nose sufficiently for the relative airflow approaching the wing to reduce an angle of attack lower than the stalling angle and normal flight (albeit in a descent) was resumed. The use of power merely helps to reduce the height loss on recovery. an aircraft will roll (or 'drop a wing') when the stall occurs. In general. The use of power during the approach to the stall is associated with a higher nose attitude (to be explained shortly) and the nose drop is more pronounced. and can often be more accurately described as a 'relaxation' of back pressure on the stick. the more rounded the leading edge (typical of the high-lift aerofoil). Stall Recovery Since a stall involves flight at angles of attack above that for CLmax. • Configuration. the amount is not large. the nose of the aircraft can be raised. must work in the opposite sense if one or other is changed. This is caused by one wing reaching the stalling angle ahead of the other and can occur for a number of reasons which will be discussed shortly. and the greater the amount of nose down pitch. This a achieved by fmward movement of the control column so that the down elevator raises the tail and lowers the nose. The degree of fmward movement of the control column which is necessary depends greatly on aircraft type. power is reduced to normal cruise setting. The CLmax is a fixed value which is reached at a given angle of attack for a given wing configuration and the !AS at which CLmax is reached depends on the amount of lift required. In general however. the higher the nose attitude at the stall.

---- 77 KIAS angle of attack 1200 kg ---. what is its new stall speed when the all-up weight is 2000 kg? new stall speed = 60 X ~ =6ox0 =60X1·28 = 76·8 kt (77 kt) L L ---. if an aircraft is to fly a level turn at 60" angle of bank. For example. So. Load Factor For an aircraft to manoeuvre. The stall speed therefore increases with increase in weight and decreases with decrease in weight. lAS). 8-3. at the stall. the lift produced by the wings must be twice as great as that required to maintain straight and level flight with the wings level. The reason is that to turn (or manoeuvre) the lift force must produce two components-a 8-6 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . Accordingly. where CLmax is a fixed quantity for a given wing configuration. Thus a heavier aircraft requires more lift (more CL . the angle of attack is reduced with fmward movement of the control column and height loss is reduced with proper use of power. 2000 kg w ---- w ---- Fig. To recover from the stall. Factors Affecting Stalling Speed Weight For level flight. if an aircraft's basic stall speed is 60 kt while at 1200 kg. it follows that only the lAS can be increased to provide the greater lift requirement. Stall speed increases with an increase in weight. the amount of lift must be equal and opposite to the weight. It is possible to calculate the new stall speed at different all-up weights by using the following formula: new stall speed = basic stall speed X Jnewweight old weight For example. the stall angle is reached at a higher lAS. the wings must produce lift over and above that required to balance the weight.

In the example of the 60° turn. i. its stalling speed will be 1·4 times its basic stalling speed (since the square root of 2 is 1·4). its stalling speed with 2'g' applied will be 1-4 x 50. straight and level in the same configuration and at the same weight). Hence.vertical component to balance the weight and the centripetal force component directed toward the centre of the manoeuvre. attempted 3g - intended flightpath pullout actual flightpath (stalled) Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-7 . divided by the weight. and with 4'g' (outside the limits for most light aircraft) the stalling speed is doubled. The measure of how much extra lift is being produced by the wings. and thus the stalling speed must increase with increased load factor. Without the centripetal force. gravity would take over and it would simply descend. Turning). the stalling speed will increase to approximately 86 KIAS. I so KIAS 1\ ~~~tr~g~~d_ _ _ _ ·~ level Fig. is called the load factor. (Load factor will be covered again in more detail in Chapter 11.: accelerated stall speed = basic stall speed x square root of the load factor. The high-speed or accelerated stall.e. the aircraft would simply fly a straight course. 8-4. at I 00 KIAS. the load factor is 2'g'. an aircraft has a basic stalling speed of 50 KJAS. or V (accelerated) = V (basic) x '</'g' (Where V (basic) is the stall speed. the angle of attack of the wing must be increased (at the same speed) to produce the extra lift required. The effect of load factor on the stalling speed is the same as for an increase or decrease in weight. for example. Hence in straight and level flight. With 3'g' applied. where the lift is twice the weight. if an aircraft has a load factor of 2'g'. where the lift is equal to the weight the load factor is 1'g'. The stall which can be made to occur at the higher speed when manoeuvring is called the high-speed or accelerated stall. or 70 KJAS. The relationship between load factor and accelerated stall speed when manoeuvring is similar to that expressed by the formula for a change of weight. This means in turn that the angle of attack for CLmax must be met at a higher lAS. If the load factor is increased. Load factor is defined as the lift being produced at any particular time by the wings. It is expressed in terms of 'g' or multiples of aircraft weight. If. and without a vertical component.

the thrust line is inclined upward and. at any given angle of attack and indicated airspeed the same amount of lift will be generated. Hence. a given aircraft weight must be balanced by an equal and opposite lift force. You will recall that the expression for the dynamic energy in the moving airstrearn-YzpV2 -is measured by the airspeed indicator as !AS. the TAS (the actual speed through the air) at which the aircraft can become airborne with a safe margin above the stall !AS. regardless of altitude. Slipstream has the following effects which will be apparent at the stall to a greater or lesser degree depending on the amount of power applied and aircraft design: • The increased speed of the airflow over the tail unit results in improved elevator (and rudder) effectiveness. Thus. Fig. although the stall !AS remains constant. Power It was illustrated in Fig. 8-1 that as the !AS reduces in level flight and angle of attack increases during the approach to the stall. and the required take-off distance is therefore increased. as shown in Fig. at any comparable !AS. 8-8 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . Consider now an aircraft climbing at a constant lAS. If we now consider the stall speed in terms of true airspeed (TAS) it is a different matter. Thus. We have seen that. for a given aircraft configuration. When the weight of the aircraft is being supported in this way (by both aerodynamic lift and a component of thrust) the angle of attack required to maintain level flight at any given lAS is reduced by comparison to that required when the wings alone must provide all of the support for the weight. the nose attitude becomes progressively higher. Thus. a direct relationship between load factor and angle of bank in a level turn. the amount of lift gene1:ated depends only on the angle of attack (CL) and airspeed. !AS. 8-5. and the stalling angle is not reached until the aircraft has slowed to a lower !AS. As altitude is increased. 8-4 illustrates what would happen if this same aircraft (with a basic stalling speed of 50 KIAS) attempted a 3'g' pullout from a dive at 80 KIAS. and this requirement applies no matter what the altitude might be. The improved elevator effectiveness better enables the pre-stall sink to be counteracted resulting in a slightly higher nose attitude at the stall proper. as altitude is increased. reduces the stall speed. the use of power in the approach to the stall. density is reducing. the angle of attack power-on. Most light aircraft are not equipped with an accelerometer to give a read-out of load factor in the cockpit. is the slipstream effect which is allied to the use of power at the stall. An additional factor to consider. There is however. For the 1/zpV' function (that is lAS) to remain constant. This increase in the TAS at which an aircraft will stall at increased altitude is significant to its performance. the stall speed in terms of TAS is increased. is higher than at lower altitude. regardless of altitude. Altitude For straight and level flight. For example. there is an upward component of thrust which helps to offset the weight. if a take-off is contemplated at a high altitude airfield. If power is used during this phase. This means that the stall angle-the angle of attack for CLmax will be reached at the same lAS in straight and level flight. is lower than with power-off. In other words. in our simplified version of the lift formula. This will be covered in more detail in Chapter II. for level flight L = W = CL . V (theTAS) must increase.

for most light aircraft the power-on stall tends to be more definite. power-on. tends both to increase the speed of the airflow and reduce the effective angle of attack in those areas. these two factors tend to oppose one another resulting in no net change to the lift produced. the aircraft therefore stalls at a slower speed and a higher angle of attack. This will be covered in more detail shortly. Slats typically produce very high nose attitudes at the stall and this carries the risk of the tail striking the ground when the aircraft is operated close to the stall and near the ground just prior to landing. lAS must decrease at the stall angle if lift is to remain constant (to oppose an unchanged weight). Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-9 . there is a faster reduction in speed and a shortened period in which the symptoms are evident. lAS) we can see that if CLmax increases. Hence we can conclude that the use of trailing edge flap will: • reduce the stall speed (lAS). the slipstream flowing past the inner sections of the wings. with slats extended. with a greater tendency to wing drop. increases the value of CLmax and. From our simple lift formula (L =CL . A further effect is that with more thrust to oppose the drag. Insofar as lift is concerned. w Flap In Chapter 6. However. Lowered flaps increase drag-particularly when fully lowered. where the respective effect of each device on the stall angle tend to cancel out. • In a single-engine aircraft. The effects of power at the stall. As a result of the above factors. 6-3 refers). it was explained that the lowering of flap increases the effective camber of the wing. increased slipstream L over empennage increases elevator and rudder effectiveness Fig. This problem is normally overcome by combining the use of slats with that of trailing-edge flaps. and • reduce the stall angle of attack (which translates in level flight. to a lower nose attitude). In the approach to the stall (without power). In short. they do combine to delay separation over the inboard sections which means that. the approach to the stall is prolonged and the symptoms are more easily identified. with trailing edge flap. 8-5. Slats The effect of slats has also been covered at Chapter 6. reduces the geometric angle of attack (Fig. the wing is more inclined to stall first nearer the wingtips. At the stall with flaps down and power applied there is often a greater tendency for the aircraft to roll (drop a wing). boundary layer separation is delayed and the CLmax is increased.

recovery from a stall in which a wing-drop occurs requires careful application of the correct technique. Contamination of Wing Surfaces When the wings are covered with ice. as we will explain shortly. Even thin layers of frost or dust. and the collapse of the intense low-pressure envelope above the wing. While the stall lAS is not affected by altitude. If the configuration is changed: • by lowering trailing-edge flaps. Summary The main factors affecting the stall (lAS) of a given aircraft are: • weight-increased weight means an increased stalling speed. • flap (or slat) extension-decreases the stalling speed. Any ice or frost at all. or such contamination as dirt. early separation of the boundary layer is encouraged- particularly if the contamination is on the forward upper surface where most of the lift is produced at high angles of attack. • load factor-any manoeuvre which increases load factor. This is an undesirable tendency and. tends to make the stall more abrupt. it pays to remove any accumulation of such things as insect remains or bird droppings from the wing. This can be caused by a number of reasons. the stall TAS increases with increased altitude. A further cause of an increased stall speed is the additional weight of the pollution. and this is particularly so in the case of ice. should be removed from the wing prior to flight. one wing has reached its stalling angle ahead of the other. giving a higher basic-stall nose attitude. the stall angle remains the same. when it occurs. even if only the texture of fine sandpaper. increases the stalling speed. Wing Drop at the Stall Many aircraft exhibit a tendency to roll (or 'drop a wing') at the point of stall. dust or bird droppings. and • condition of the wings-any contamination increases the stalling speed. While the stall speed varies depending on the above factors. • power-increased power decreases the stalling speed. can result in a reduced CLmax being experienced (through earlier boundary layer separation) at a lower angle of attack.that is. for a given aircraft configuration. Similarly. There is only one underlying cause for a wing-drop at the stall. including: 8-10 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . the stall angle decreases and this is reflected in a lower nose attitude in the basic stall. the stall angle increases. The use of slats alone has little effect on the sequence of events in the approach to the stall-except that the high nose attitude should be apparent. Any reduction in the CLmax means that the aircraft will stall at a higher speed than normal. hoar frost. including turning. or • by extended slats alone.

stalling of the inboard sections first may be achieved by fitting flow strips (stall strips or 'spoilers') to the inboard leading edges as shown in Fig.e. As will be explained in more detail shortly. Washout enables the inner sections of the wing to reach the stall angle first. These strips encourage early flow separation at the higher angles of attack. the use of aileron near the stall-can result in the outer sections of the wing with the 'down' aileron reaching its stall angle ahead of that with the 'up' aileron. A flow strip. • Use of aileron near the stall. • Unbalanced flight approaching the stall. This characteristic is inherent in aircraft with a rectangular wing planform shape (many training aircraft). the rolling moment (and the rate of the ensuing roll) will be relatively small. • The use of flap approaching the stall. This is because. The use of power. as the stall is approached in such turns. when power is applied approaching the stall. other contamination. that through mechanical wear and tear or slight manufactming differences. the effective angle of attack of the inner wing sections is reduced (by comparison with the outer) and when the wing stalls it tends to stall first nearer the wingtips. Design Measures for Preventing Wing Drop A stall which develops from the wing root first is desirable since. 8-6. This outcome from the use of aileron is also likely if the stall is approached in unbalanced flight i. If the flaps do extend evenly. It is possible when flaps are extended. If small amounts of slip or skid are induced just as the stall is approached it can result in one wing reaching the stall angle ahead of the other. the angles of attack of each wing are different in climbing or descending turns. 8-6. • Differences in the surface condition of the wings. their use nevertheless tends to accentuate a wing drop for other reasons. As will be explained in Chapter II. In other aircraft. particularly in conjunction with flaps. As was explained in Chapter 7.::: Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-11 . with flaps down. one wing reaches its stall angle ahead of the other and roll will result at the stall. the wing drop tends to be more sudden and have a faster rate of roll. -------. • The use of power. but the designer usually counteracts this by incorporating washout-a lower angle of incidence toward the wingtips-as has been previously described (Fig. tends to encourage stalling of the outer sections first and accentuate any wing-drop. Fig.-- _____________ -. Aircraft with tapered wing planforms are more inclined to tip stalling. • Approaching the stall during climbing or descending turns. when an aircraft with dihedral slips or skids. 5-14 refers). one wing develops (by design) a higher effective angle of attack. The presence of unequal amounts of ice. if a wing-drop occurs. If one wing stalls ahead of the other in these circumstances. As explained previously. propeller slipstream tends to reduce the effective angle of attack and delay the stall over the affected inboard sections. or damage can result in flow separation from one wing ahead of the other. Thus. with 'crossed controls'. thereby reducing the tendency for tip- stalling and a rapid roll if the wing should drop. they extend unevenly causing slight overall differences in the angle of attack between the wings.

and precedes the spin. the airflow approaches each wing at a different angle and.e. the Stall In spite of the design measures mentioned above. and will be discussed in more detail in the next section on Spinning. many training aircraft exhibit a moderate tendency toward wing-drop.. The wing which has its aileron deflected downward may be taken beyond the stalling angle which will cause a wing drop. (Autorotation is the basis of. particularly if the stall is approached with flap down and partial power on. the aircraft will pitch nose down. The resulting lateral imbalance of lift and drag causes the aircraft to yaw and to roll 'automatically'-to enter a state called autorotation. the wing drop at the stall is caused by one wing reaching the stalling angle of attack slightly ahead of the other. as the wing is dropping. higher lift ~ upgoing wing much less lift ~ -------- / . the angle of attack of the downgoing wing increases. Use of Aileron Near. as a result. the stalled wing will 'drop'. while that of the upgoing wing decreases (Fig... 8-12 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . When this occurs. and During. By comparison with the upgoing wing. or at. As the roll develops..---A------' wmg -<:J Aileron down but left roll and left yaw continue much higher drag Fig. Avoid the use of large amounts of aileron near.) In addition. To avoid the possibility of inducing a wing drop. C velocity vector of downgoing wingtip relative airtlow downgoing wing downgoing angle of attack The increased angle of attack of the downgoing wing places it further into the stall. the stall. As we have seen. the aircraft will roll because of the imbalance of lift between the wings-i. 8-7. 8-8. angles exaggerated for purposes of explanation upgoing angle of attack Fig. large amounts of aileron should not be used approaching the stall. 8-7). it therefore has less lift and higher drag.. stalled less drag ' I I downgoi~'g-. since overall lift has been reduced in the stall. This behaviour is quite normal and satisfactory recovery can be achieved if the correct technique (to be described shortly) is applied.

The angle of attack of the wings is normally reduced quite quickly by forward sticl{. • raise the nose. the amount of height loss is not great. • apply full power. Once the flaps are fully raised. there are the associated signs while in non-accelerated or level flight of low airspeed. the angle of attack on the downgoing wing will be further increased. to roll the wings level at the same time as the nose is raised and full power applied to bring the aircraft back to normal level flight. the rolling has stopped (or almost so) and it is in a wing-down. This will take it further beyond the stalling angle. The recovery sequence explained above. nose-low attitude with increasing airspeed. it is raised in stages as the normal level flight attitude is regained. these actions are carried out more or less simultaneously. the first action-as it is with any stall recovery- must be to reduce the angle of attack by easing the stick forward-straight forward. sufficient rudder is used to prevent further yaw and so interrupt the snowballing autorotative sequence. In practice. so that it can be prevented-rather than 'recovered from' once it has occurred. • centralize rudder. At this point (as the wings are unstalled) aileron is used. coordinated with rudder.For the same reason. the recovery from the wing-drop (fully developed) stall is: • stick centrally forward. assumes that the nose of the aircraft had not dropped greatly before recovery action was taken. in which event the use of full power early in the sequence is appropriate. the power may be reduced to the normal cruise setting. adding to (not preventing) the unwanted roll and subsequent yaw. Summarizing. Recovery at Onset The primary purpose of practising stalling is to be able to recognise the symptoms leading up to the stall. Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-13 . high nose attitude and activation of stall warning devices. The most telling symptom on most aircraft is the pre-stall buffet. If aileron is used in this way. raise it in stages to recover to the cruise flight configuration and then reduce power. Then attend to the roll-yaw sequence and. aileron should not be used as a wing drops at the stall in an attempt to 'pick it up'. If flap has been used. • use ailerons smoothly to roll the wings level. In addition. Thus a situation is soon met where the aircraft is unstalled. since aileron should not be used for the reasons explained. Recovery from the Wing-drop Stall Note: The 'wing-drop stall' is sometimes referred to as the 'fully developed stall'. • use sufficient ('top') rudder to prevent further yaw. In this process. and from there to a spin. it is better to delay the application of power until the nose is raised (after recovery) above the horizon. If flap was used in the approach to the stall. the temptation to use aileron to pick up the dropping wing (an instinctive thing to do) must be resisted. The use of aileron to 'pick a wing up' at the stall can thus lead to autorotation. and when properly executed. When the wing drops at the stall. If the nose had been allowed to drop well below the horizon.

The spin is an advanced stage of autorotation with the downgoing wing more deeply stalled than the other. • pitching. the following actions should be taken simultaneously: • apply full power. relative airflow Fig. In other words. the flaps (if extended) are raised in stages and the aircraft returned to level flight at the normal cruise power setting. Once established in a spin. If the nose was lowered before power is applied in these circumstances. 8-14 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . The reason for the difference. leading to further roll. therefore. Spinning A spin is a condition of stalled flight in which the aircraft follows a spiral descent path about a vertical axis. an immediate loss of height is incurred. is that at the onset the aircraft has not actually stalled and. the aircraft is yawing and rolling with one wing producing more lift than the other. An aircraft in a controlled spin to the left. You can induce a spin deliberately by yawing an aircraft that is stalled. I • yawing. 8-9. it is: • stalled. • stop the aircraft from rolling and yawing. Note that the sequence of this recove1y is different from the full stall recove1y where f01ward stick must always be the first action. causing the nose to pitch up and down. Aerodynamic conditions may also fluctuate in the spin. full power application as the nose is gradually and smoothly lowered will bring the aircraft safely back to n01mal flight with little or no loss of height. q_ Spin aXIS • rolling. Greater drag from the stalled lower wing results in further yaw. or is just on the point of stalling. As well as being in a stalled condition. and • rapidly losing altitude at a relatively low airspeed. For recovery at the onset of the stall when these signs are evident. the aircraft is in motion about all three axes. • lower the nose attitude to slightly above the horizon. and so on. When the airspeed has shown a positive increase. I up elevator • slipping.

the direction of the relative airflow affecting the two is different. At its higher angle of attack. angle of attack Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-15 . the dropping wing is more deeply stalled.-----. perhaps by a gust or some action by the pilot. the angle of attack on the downgoing wing is greater than that of the upgoing wing (Fig. The total aerodynamic reaction force from the aircraft is directed vertically upward and counterbalances the weight acting vertically downward-in a sense.1 I I CL no roll I I I I equal lift I j\ ~ more lift rising I I wing 1I DECREASED I I LIFT less dcag / : : Co less lift' i f II coil I I I coli ) _. 8-9. with the wings at a large angle of attack. it generates less lift and wants to keep dropping which causes the aircraft to continue rolling. and thus produces more lift.. It occurs when a difference between the angle of attack of the wings develops and when they are at. I DROPPING l"<•"'"/" / 'I WING w1ng / 1 tendency tendency to keep to recover / / I rolling . For each of the wings (even though they are in a stalled condition) the total reaction force can be resolved into lift and drag components acting perpendicular and parallel to their respective relative airflows. There will also be some side-slip present. I normal in-flight range stalled fiight Fig. the aircraft is parachuting downward. the point of the stall.-----.1 1 ~I ~ wing . as shown in Fig. The two main features to autorotation are: • 'auto-roll'-with its higher angle of attack. I / 1 . Autorotation Autorotation is the basis of the spin.. the downgoing wing develops more lift through its higher angle of attack-and the upgoing wing less. In normal flight at angles of attack well below the stalling angle. 8-7 refers).more drag I AUTO-ROLL . the aircraft descends on a tight spiral path about the vertical spin axis. critical angle -. and for the aircraft to roll level of its own accord. It is this difference in lift which produces the high rate of roll in the spin.When established in a spin. 1 / rising 1 _. has a lower angle of attack than the inner. the inner wing produces more drag which causes the continuous yaw... The outer wing is travelling faster... If a wing drops or a roll is induced in flight... Lift and drag effects on a dropping wing. or beyond. _~:_::~--. With the outer wing spinning rapidly about the inner. Hence there is a natural tendency for any roll to be damped out.. no roll equal lift v I INCREASED more lift DRAG 1 I I I . and • 'auto-yaw'-the dropping wing also generates much more drag and wants to continue yawing the nose of the aircraft in the same direction as the roll. 8-10.

rolling and yawing may fluctuate and the airframe is subjected to some buffeting. Autorotation can occur with only the dropping wing stalled and with the (unstalled) rising wing producing considerable lift. and so it goes on-autorotation has set in and the aircraft is about to enter a spin. The result is that a dropping wing in a stalled condition will continue to drop and the rolling motion will tend to continue of its own accord. 8-10. there are two instrument indications which can be reliably used to confirm the fact and the direction of the spin. This effect is illustrated on the familiar CL curve in Fig. will probably require about two full turns to take effect. Some light aircraft may not be able to achieve this fully developed stage of the spin. It can also be seen from Fig. it is likely the spin will be 'flatter' (nose up. Or it can occur with both wings stalled as illustrated Fig 8. rolling and yawing. 8-10. However. Most light aircraft have to be 'held into' the spin for it to continue-i. 8-16 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . a fmward CG normally results in a steeper spin with a higher rate of descent and a higher rate of rotation. Spin Confirmation Most of the gyroscopic instrument indications are unreliable in a spin. The strong yaw leads to more roll. intentional spinning with flaps down is prohibited. may even prevent a spin occurring. If control action is taken during the incipient stage. that compared with a roll in normal flight. Spin recovery action at this stage. if any buffeting. the downgoing wing also experiences a large increase in drag which yaws it in the direction of the roll. With the wings more deeply stalled. and • the turn indicator which always indicates a turn in the direction of the spin.-1 0. most aircraft will settle into a stable spin with steady rates of pitching. most aircraft will go through an early incipient stage of the spin (one or two turns) where the rate of pitching. If the aircraft spins with the CG outside the aft limit. At the stalling angle or beyond. have full up elevator and full rudder held in the direction of the spin. recovery may not be possible-a very good reason for ensuring that the aircraft is never flown outside of its approved CG limits. After these first few initial turns. They are: • a consistently low but fluctuating airspeed indication (if the aircraft is in a low nose attitude but not in a spin. Spin Characteristics Different aircraft will spin in different ways and it is not possible to describe a set of spin characteristics which will apply to all. which leads to more yaw. when a wing-drop occurs in stalled flight. Conversely. It may make recovery much easier and. For a given aircraft type. in fact. the airspeed will be high and increasing).e. In general terms. recovery will be almost immediate. a rearward CG will encourage a flatter spin making it more difficult to lower the nose during recovery. For most light aircraft. the increased angle of attack of the downgoing wing causes it to stall (or to become more deeply stalled) and develop even less lift. having the flaps down and/or power on worsens the spin conditions and will make the aircraft less inclined to recover. and more toward the horizon) with little. In general.

the wings are not stalled (unlike in a spin). the standard recovery techniques will include: • checking the throttle is closed and the flaps are up. in which case you must be prepared to smartly start easing out of the dive to avoid an excessive build-up of airspeed. and • by avoiding the conditions which lead to autorotation-i. and • ease out of the dive with elevator (you can expect to feel increased 'g'- loading). the coarse use of aileron or rudder when the aircraft is approaching (or is at) the stalling angle. beware of a high-speed stall. levelling the wings and easing out of the ensuing dive. • smoothly roll the wings level with ailerons.an be easily avoided by: • not allowing the aircraft to stall (or if it does.Spin Recovery The recovery from a fully developed spin will be covered in detail by your flight instructor. • easing the control column centrally forward to reduce the angle of attack. smartly centralizing the rudder. • applying full opposite rudder to the direction of the spin. During these one or two turns. Others will stop spinning immediately these recovery actions are taken. To recover from a spiral dive: • close the throttle (to reduce acceleration). when recovering from it there is no need to move the control column forward as you do when recovering from a spin. An unintentional spin c. Recovery techniques vary between one aircraft type and another and the following is not intended to replace proper flight instruction. In general. which can be thought of as a steep turn that has gone wrong. In a spiral dive the nose attitude is low. It is emphasised that the spin is a stalled condition of flight which develops from autorotation. the airspeed is rapidly increasing and the rate of descent is high-a spiral dive is really just a steep descending turn. • a pause (to allow the rudder to take effect in reducing the yaw). Principles of Flight Stalling and Spinning 8-17 .e. Because the wings are not stalled in a spiral dive. the nose may go down and the rate of rotation will increase temporarily. by taking prompt and correct recovery action). then • as soon as the spin stops. Some aircraft may take one or two further turns in the spin before the opposite rudder and forward elevator have an effect in stopping the rotation. Do Not Confuse a Spin With a Spiral Dive A manoeuvre that must not be confused with a spin is the spiral dive.

e.. The stall is a condition of flight in which the angle of attack of the wing .. (c) at the same speed but lower angle of attack... The stalling speed...... In autorotation the dropping wing has (more/less) lift and (more/less) drag than the rising wing.. the stall speed is (higher/lower) and the nose attitude is (higher/lower) than with flap up. its stalling speed in the manoeuvre = basic stall speed X . 8...... the CP moves rapidly (fmward/rearward). If altitude is increased. ...... To recover from the stall.. Write down the two reliable instrument indications of a spin.. Which of the following is correct? If weight is increased. When the wing stalls.. the angle of attack must be (increased/reduced). 5. power on...... the centre of pressure (CP) is at about . 9.... 15. %chord. For a level-flight stall with trailing-edge flap lowered.... 17.. 14... 3..... 13.. is (unlikely/likely) to increase the stalling speed... Reviews I. it is being turned or manoeuvred). 16... Contamination on the forward upper surface of the wings.. For a wing in a given configuration.. the angle of attack for CLmax is (fixed/ variable).. When the aircraft is subject to a 'g' loading (i. The point of stall is characterized by the nose pitching (up/down). 8-18 Stalling and Spinning The Commercial Pilot Series . is (higher/lower) than with power off.. I 0.. its critical (or stalling) angle.. 12.. 4....... For a GP aerofoil at the critical (stall) angle of attack..... State four symptoms of an approaching stall... The term used for a reduction of angle of incidence toward the wingtips is .. 6. the aircraft will stall: (a) at a higher speed but same angle of attack. 2.... if it is the texture of fine sandpaper. Write down the standard recove1y actions for a wing-drop stall.. . the stall lAS (decreases/increases/stays the same) and the stall TAS (decreases/increases/stays the same)... Write down the standard spin recovery technique. II. 7.... (b) at a higher speed but lower angle of attack...

Straight and Level Flight Introduction There are four main forces acting on an aircraft in flight-lift. In this. by varying manifold pressure and/or propeller rpm). The four main forces acting in flight. ground reaction lift t I I ~ drag~ L!P~thrust drag ~~==~?~~??~thrust ~<¢> weight weight Fig. 9-1. The main difference is that the weight of a surface vehicle is supported by the ground. Climbing and Descending. The motion of the aircraft is opposed by the drag force resulting from air resistance. and Turning. In the case of a surface vehicle-a car for example-the thrust force is provided by the engine turning the wheels which then drive the car along. thrust and drag. The driver of the car controls the 'thrust' developed by the road wheels by va1ying foot pressure on the accelerator. With a propeller-driven aircraft. These four forces are very similar to the forces which act on any surface vehicle. Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-1 . the thrust is provided by the engine/propeller combination. The pilot of the aircraft controls the power developed by the engine and the thrust of the propeller by moving the throttle forward or back with his or her hand (or in the case of an aircraft with a variable-pitch propeller. weight. and the next two chapters. we will be covering the forces acting in flight under the headings Straight and Level Flight. and the drag is due to tyre friction and air resistance. whereas the weight of an aircraft in flight is supported by the aerodynamic lift force mainly produced by the wings.

some lift may be provided by the fuselage and other parts of the aircraft other than the wings. For practical purposes. The 'lifting forces'. adds to the weight of the aircraft and requires more lift from the wings. tailplane lift (usually negative) 9-2 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . wing lift Fig. In the normal cruising attitude. or turning. accelerating or decelerating. Of the forces which go toward supporting the weight in level flight. lAS and heading-i. For these conditions to apply. This may include lift from the tailplane. lifting forces counterbalance weight Fig. 9-2. the vertical component of thrust does not normally make a significant contribution to supporting the weight unless the nose attitude is comparatively high (e. but will become increasingly inclined upward as speed is decreased and the angle of attack increases. although it will usually be generating a small amount of downward 'negative' lift which. Hence. the forces acting on the aircraft must be in equilibrium. The conditions for oD unaccelerated level flight. The Forces Acting In steady straight-and-level flight. The lifting forces must counterbalance the weight (otherwise. the thrust line of the engine will rarely be exactly parallel with the direction of flight. In coordinated (or 'balanced') flight. the thrust line will be ve1y close to the direction of flight. it is not climbing or descending. (Such negative tailplane lift is called 'trim drag'). In level flight. wing lift may be taken as the only fuselage and force balancing the weight in other lift level flight.e. although it is not strictly cmrect for all conditions of level flight. 9-3. the aircraft is maintaining a constant altitude. the wings must also be level so that the aircraft does not turn. for practical purposes it can be taken that the only force which balances the weight is wing lift and that the thrust line will remain the same as the direction of flight. This upward inclination provides a small vertical component of the thrust which helps to support the weight. In addition. The wings provide by far the greatest contribution to counterbalancing the weight in level flight and it is normal to disregard any lifting effect of the fuselage and inclined thrust line.g. approaching the stall) and a high power setting is used. in effect. the aircraft will gain or lose altitude) and the thrust must be equal and opposite to drag (othe1wise the aircraft will gain or lose speed).

As a result. 9-4. The usual design arrangement is to have the CP behind the CG. They are. As is normal. the thrust and drag forces rarely act through the same line and form another couple which can cause a nose-up or a nose-down pitching moment depending on the arrangement of the forces. The lift acts through the centre of pressure (CP) of the wings. The pitching moments in flight. 9-4. the position of the CP changes with angle of attack. and then rearward as the stalling angle is exceeded. and in the interests of keeping things simple. generally moving forward as angle of attack increases. most of the following diagrams in this manual show the forces as if they act from a common point. and the balancing force of the tailplane-which is usually always present but relatively small-is omitted. Similarly. however. rarely in perfect balance and it is the function of the tailplane to provide the necessary balancing (or stabilizing) force as shown in Fig. the CP and the CG of an aircraft rarely act through the same line. the thrust line acts below the line of drag and a nose-up pitching moment results. Pitching Moments In flight. we1ght Fig. As you will recall from Chapter 4. Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-3 . when passengers or freight move!). Aircraft are normally designed so that the pitching moments of the lift/weight (L/W) and thrust/drag (T/D) couples oppose one another. Weight acts through the CG and the position of the CG can change-from flight to flight depending on the aircraft loading. With these changes. the four main forces do not all act through the same point. the lift/weight forces set up a couple which causes a nose-down pitching moment. and during flight as fuel is consumed (and in large aircraft. LIW couple ~ lift I nose-down ij moment pitching I I CP I t tailplane dr I ~ stabilizing T/D couple moment ~ I I I 11 1I . Usually.

the strength of the respective couple will change and cause a nose-up or nose-down pitching moment. dra . Increasing power and thrust causes a nose-up pitch (and vice-versa). and changing the configuration by raising and lowering the flaps and undercarriage. 9-4 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . Typical effects of lowering flap on the balance of couples. If the downwash is reduced.:::-::-=-=-::s. The more significant of these effects occur through changes to the power setting.nose-down pitch 1 and moves back . Changes in Power An increase in power (and thrust) increases the strength of the T/D couple resulting in a nose-up pitch. the nose will generally tend to pitch up. ~LIW ~LIW lift vector increases and moves back - +1 couple lift vector increases A couple .-:_-=-:-:. thrust )"-"'"""' Fig. a reduction in power and thrust weakens the T/D couple and results in a nose-down pitch. • depending on design. the airflow over the tailplane is altered._·II> --------. • drag increases and the line through which the total drag acts is usually changed-raised with a high-wing aircraft resulting in a stronger nose-up pitching moment. 9-6. T + nose-down pitch I I I I I drag vector increases I I and moves up I T/D I . Conversely. Variable Effects on the Couples If an aircraft is trimmed for level flight and there is a change in the magnitude or line of action of any of the forces. 9-5. resulting in an increased nose- down pitching moment. a stronger nose-down pitching moment generally results. in some aircraft. Lowering and Raising the Flaps When the flaps are lowered: • lift increases and the CP moves reatward. These changes in nose attitude are easily countered with the use of elevator as power is changed. and lowered with a low-wing aircraft resulting in a nose- down pitching moment. If the downwash is increased.nose-up Pitch I couple ~~\~'---p--~ increased downwash TID may cause couple nose-up pitch low-wing aircraft I w I high-wing aircraft I w Fig.

Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-5 . height will be lost (or rate of climb reduced) until the aircraft is able to accelerate to recover the loss of lift through increased speed. and when the flaps are lowered. Another effect of lowering and raising the flaps can be 'ballooning' or 'sinking'. with most high-wing training aircraft. As it varies from type to type. The strength of any pitching moment experienced will depend on lAS. Most high-wing training aircraft. whether the nose pitches up or down (or indeed pitches at all) when the flaps are lowered depends on which of the various moments predominates. with the faster airflow. if the same nose attitude is held. however. The sinking which can result when the flaps are raised quickly is a different matter-particularly if this is done at slow speed and at low level. the nose may go down. Raising and Lowering the Undercarriage For retractable-undercarriage aircraft. most aircraft tend to pitch nose down when the flaps are lowered and nose up when they are raised. i. flap and undercarriage configuration occurs in the natural sense. It will be more pronounced at the higher speeds in the flap operating range (where. raising the undercarriage usually causes a nose-up pitch. which could well result in the aircraft stalling. • flap up-nose up. • undercarriage up-nose up. And. in the opposite direction: • power down (or reduced)-nose down. If sinking is experienced near the ground. It arises from the relatively sudden gain of lift as the flaps are being lowered. Ballooning is a transitory tendency to gain altitude (or have a reduced rate of descent) when the flaps are lowered. In general. and • undercarriage down-nose down.Hence. An exception to the foregoing is that. when the flaps are raised. Summary The response in terms of the change of pitch attitude for most aircraft to changes in power. As the flaps are often lowered or raised when flying at relatively low levels it is good airmanship to anticipate and deal promptly with any unwanted pitching moment arising from this cause. Such ballooning as is normally experienced is not of great consequence and may not even be noticeable in a light aircraft when flap is lowered on the approach to land. the rate of flap extension and retraction. In addition. For these reasons you should avoid raising the flaps when flying at low levels and slow speeds. while lowering it will usually result in a nose down pitch. the stalling speed increases. the nose may come up. as the flaps are raised. When the flaps are raised lift is reduced and. it is not possible to be more specific. the increase in lift is greater) and will be particularly noticeable if a large amount of flap is lowered quickly. give the opposite response and pitch nose-up when the flaps are lowered. • flap down-nose down.e: • power up-nose up. there will be a natural tendency for the pilot to raise the nose attitude to counter it. and the amount of flap used.

The driver of a car can control speed simply by increasing or decreasing foot pressure on the accelerator. thrust must be less than drag. The converse applies when power is reduced and the same nose attitude is held. The speed will reduce and the aircraft will descend as lift is reduced at the lower speed.. Applied to straight and level flight it means that a change of performance-i...e. Conversely.. lower the nose attitude as power is increased and as the aircraft is accelerating drag. to fly at a faster or lower airspeed-must be brought about by controlling both the power and the nose attitude. speed is controlled differently. If the aircraft is trimmed in level flight at constant speed. As will become clearer when we discuss climbing and descending. 9-7. Under the same conditions just described. Increasing and Decreasing Speed in Level Flight To accelerate in level flight.e. In addition. the aircraft will rotate nose-up and gain height. This interdependence is summarized in the adage 'power plus attitude equals performance'. if the pilot increases power with the intention of accelerating to a higher speed but without moving any of the other controls. the speed of an aircraft is determined fundamentally by its attitude and the altitude (or height) by the amount of power applied. there will be no net nose-up or nose-down pitching moment. the nose must be prevented from pitching up at the same time as power is applied and.. the angle of attack must be progressively decreased (nose attitude lowered) to keep the lift equal to the weight The rate at which the nose attitude must be lowered depends on a number of factors including the amount of power applied.. thrust must be greater than drag. Conversely.. to decelerate. the aircraft will still climb as the speed increases and the wings gain more lift. the nose will drop and the aircraft will descend. There is thus an interdependence between height and speed on the one hand. The speed may decrease (quite possibly.. Increasing speed in It I level flight. Hence. if the pilot increases power but prevents the nose from rising with elevator (i. which can be universally applied to all phases of flight. while the aircraft is accelerating. holds the same attitude).. to fly at a faster speed but remain in level flight. Under these conditions. 9-7 below. The speed may also increase. aircraft speed and the rate at which it accelerates. if power is reduced with the intention of slowing to a lower speed. The actions required are summarised in Fig. the forces will be in equilibrium-the total lift will balance the weight and the thrust will balance the drag._~:::::::~. but this will depend on the nose attitude which results. and power and attitude on the other. In flight. lift to remain in level flight.. The proper coordination of elevator control with the use of throttle and increasing speed comes with practice and experience.'!~~ thrust I I I I Fig. it will remain constant) but once again this will depend on the nose attitude which results from changing the power.. increase power to increase thrust weight 9-6 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series .

higher nose attitude required+--+-- Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-7 . and higher speed. I I Reducing speed in level flight. a high speed is associated with a low nose attitude-and a low speed with a high nose attitude. With the decreasing speed drag is reduced and. increasing lAS -lower nose attitude required--+~ Fig. when the drag builds up to be equal to the thrust. raise the nose attitude as power is reduced and as speed is decreasing drag+--~~ thrust ~II Fig. and power (thrust). As the airspeed increases. ~--li>. ~--. if the reduction in power has not been large. below the minimum drag/maximum UD ratio airspeed. It I reduce power to decrease thrust weight As you will be aware from our previous consideration of drag (Chapter 5). From the foregoing. the aircraft will settle at the new and lower speed when the thrust and drag forces come once again into balance.decreasing lAS. drag begins to increase again as speed is reduced. ~dG'~-- ¢ slow faster much speed faster weight weight weight +--+-. it is also clear that there is a direct relationship between speed. In level flight. At the new. A large reduction in power may result in the aircraft decelerating into this region and if it is desired to fly level at speeds well below the minimum drag speed. 9-8. The converse applies to a reduction of speed in level flight. the nose attitude must be progressively raised. the use of elevator to control the nose attitude must be properly coordinated with changes of power and speed. the power will have to be increased again (and adjusted as required) to maintain the speed. As the power is reduced and while the aircraft is slowing down. nose attitude (angle of attack). the nose attitude for level flight will be lower. The aircraft will otherwise continue to decelerate until the stalling angle of attack is reached and level flight will no longer be possible. the aircraft will have a higher nose attitude. the system of forces will be in a new state of equilibrium. If the aircraft is to remain in level flight when the speed is changing. lift lift lift Maintaining level flight. lift to remain in level flight. At the lower airspeed. the resisting force (drag) will also increase and eventually. 9-9.

Rather than refer to performance in terms of thrust. we can say that: power required = drag x TAS. • The minimum thrust required for level flight occurs at the minimum drag/ best 1)0 ratio speed. 9-11 is a comparison between a typical PR cwve and the drag curve for the same aircraft. 9-1 0) is exactly the same as the drag curve versus lAS for that aircraft. 'thrust stall I required' I = I total I I drag I curve is for level flight and valid for constant aircraft I minimum thrust I I weight and altitude I ' Fig. as thrust = drag. Performance in Straight and Level Flight The thrust required for steady (unaccelerated) straight and level flight at any given indicated airspeed is of course equal to the total drag at that speed (T = D) Thus the curve of 'thrust required' versus !AS for a given aircraft (Fig. and best rate and angle of climb speeds. Two such speeds are annotated A and B on the cwve and we will refer to these speeds again shortly.e. it is more appropriate and relevant to consider the power required and power available in level flight. I '' The 'thrust required'curve. 5-1 7 and note: • High thrust is required at high speeds to overcome what is mainly parasite drag. The Power Required Curve The power required to move an aircraft through the air at a constant speed can be determined by multiplying the thrust required by TAS-i. the aircraft can be flown with the same thrust at two different speeds-one higher than the other. range and endurance. the force applied x distance over time. absolute ceiling. t v' i Slow Fast lAS (high a) (Iowa) speed for minimum drag and litudrag max. Compare this cwve with the drag curve at Fig. In level flight. • Over a section of the curve on either side of the minimum thrust speed. Shown in Fig. • High thrust is also required at low speeds to overcome what is mainly induced drag. 9-10. The power required (PRl curve can therefore be easily obtained by multiplying drag x TAS and plotting the results against TAS. The use of these parameters leads to the determination of a number of factors in aircraft performance including maximum level flight speeds. 9-8 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series .

This serves to illustrate the important fact that power and thrust are not the same thing-Nevertheless. A comparison between the drag curve (thrust required) and the power required curve.e. At any other point. 9-12). the minimum power speed is lower than the minimum drag/ best UD ratio speed. or Tan El is higher. This point on the PR curve is the best aerodynamic speed for flying for range. power= drag x TAS power power required drag=-- TAS PR For minimum drag. the ratio of power to TAS. i. • The bottom of the drag curve (i. 9-12. the ratio of power to TAS. must be at a minimum. • If the PR curve is now considered by itself. the speed for minimum drag/ best LJD ratio occurs where a line drawn from the origin of the graph is tangential to the curve (see Fig.e. Hence.) Higher power is required at the higher TAS. We just have to be careful in distinguishing between the two when it comes down to questions of performance.e. power required curves are for level PR flight and valid for constant aircraft weight and altitude TAS minimum drag I max UD speed Points to note with the above graph are that: • Although the drag (and therefore. as we will discuss in more detail in Chapter 15. 9-11. ratio of A to B. Fig. thrust required) is the same at points A and B. This occurs on the power required cuJVe where the line from the 0 origin is tangential. when we speak of 'increased power' we probably mean 'increased thrust' and in general terms it will be true-an increase in power generally leads to an increase in thrust and vice versa. the power required at those two different speeds is different. minimum power). drag 'thrust stall required' I I = I total I PR drag I Fig. (Note the points at which the vertical dashed lines intersect the PR curve. minimum drag) does not coincide with the bottom of the PR curve (i. B TAS Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-9 .

Maximum and Minimum Speeds in Level Flight When the power required and power available cwves for level flight in an aircraft are compared. 9-13. The power available (PA) curves which we use in the following diagrams is the lower of the two in Fig.e. the power required = power available (and the thrust developed will equal the drag). as shown in Fig. The power available curve is related to the engine/propeller combination. At any given rpm this output is relatively independent of TAS-although as speed is increased there is generally an increase in efficiency and power output owing to the effects of ram air pressure in the induction system and lower exhaust pressures. Each set of curves shown in the following diagrams is valid for one aircraft weight.) Most propellers are least efficient at low speeds with their efficiency increasing to a maximum of about 80% over the higher speed range of the aircraft. as you would expect. The cu1ve for (propulsive) power available from the propeller is therefore typically steeper and more curved than that for power delivered at the propeller shaft. 9-14). At that point. A typical curve of power delivered to the propeller (Fig. the (propulsive) power available from the propeller. The power output of the engine to the propeller shaft can be fairly readily and accurately calculated at different rpm. the intersection of the curves moves to the left and. 9-13. the maximum speed at the lower power setting is reduced. a number of factors relating to performance emerge. not all of the engine power is converted to propulsive power. and one configuration. The power required curve is related to the aerodynamics of the aircraft. TAS Owing to inefficiencies of the propeller. power delivered to propeller power available from propeller power Fig. the stalling angle of attack (or some condition of instability or loss of control effectiveness) will be reached before 9-10 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . The minimum speed for level flight occurs either where the curves intersect at the lower TAS or at the stalling speed. (Discussed in more detail in Chapter 12. The Power Available Curve Aircraft piston engines are rated in horsepower-the unit used in the old 'Imperial' system to measure power. and can be thought of as the ability of that combination to meet that demand for power under given circumstances. 9-13) is usually one which is fairly flat but reflecting some increase in engine efficiency and power available as TAS increases. / losses due to propeller inefficiency The power available from I the propeller. The maximum speed for level flight at any given power setting occurs where the cwves intersect at the higher TAS (Fig. one altitude. For most aircraft. i. 9-13. As power is reduced from maximum. and can be thought of as the aerodynamic demand for power to meet a certain performance. the PA curve moves down on the graph.

Conversely. 9-15. the angle of attack will also have to be increased if the lift is to remain equal to stalling speed the weight. less power is needed to maintain level flight at any TAS given speed.1 -sa%. in level flight. if the weight of the aircraft is increased. there will be a slight increase in the maximum speed attainable. and I -:. As shown in Fig. This increase in angle of attack results in increased an increase in drag and therefore of power required . -1!. there will also be a I II slight reduction in the maximum level flight speed I R to maintain II and. as an aircraft is climbed at Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-11 .. Increased weight increases the power required to maintain speed decreases. ~. as we have already seen..speed power required to maintain level flight at all speeds is I }I : 1 reduced increased. which means that the 1t. Since the power required to fly at any given lAS is a function of TAS x drag. Increased . 9-15. an increase in the II all speeds increased :I stalling speed. maximum power available and thrust are required to counterbalance the drag.. curve upward and to the right. to maintain level flight (PR ~ drag x TAS).I 1 1 max. However. II II aircraft weight thus has the effect of moving the PR II p I' .. becomes the minimum speed possible in level flight. Looked at another way. it follows that the power required to maintain an indicated airspeed increases as altitude is gained (in spite of the fact that the drag remains constant).I.70/ -- .t(' Maximum and minimum I speeds in level flight.-. 9-14. if an aircraft is flown at constant lAS but increasing altitude. Power Required The drag at any aircraft weight and lAS remains constant regardless of altitude. Whichever of these speeds is reached first as the aircraft is slowed down. full power stall power :-90%\\ available PA - -- - I __.p A r- Fig. and the stalling speed Fig. The Effect of Altitude An increase in altitude affects both the power required and the power available. theTAS at that lAS steadily increases. power I required PR I I I I I I + minimum TAS maximum speed I speed The Effect of Weight In level flight at any given airspeed. at lower aircraft weights.

lI ~: maximum boost. this required and power available.j. increased but the rate at which the low- TAS speed intersection of the PR and PA cutves moves to the right on the graph is Fig. 9. Thereafter. Hence. This advantage comes at the expense of an increase in power required. the maximum TAS in level flight is reduced. an altitude will be reached where the two coincide and level flight will only be possible at one speed. the effect II p !I max. an increase in altitude is reflected in a downward movement of the PA curve on the graph. with a supercharged engine.r. This reduction in power available from a piston engine may be largely delayed by the use of supercharging._~. 9-16. 1 1 reduced I I The minimum level flight speed is I I increased with altitude.. constant lAS.) Power Available The decrease in air density at altitude inevitably causes a decrease in the power available from both jet and piston engines. When successive PR cUives are plotted against TAS to reflect increasing altitude. The effect of altitude in increasing the power required and reducing the power available is shown in Fig. .-· . and to the right because successive points on the cUives representing the same lAS (and drag) occur at a higher true airspeed. an advantage is gained because its real speed (TAS) is steadily increasing. Ultimately.I 6. min. increased an increase in maximum TAS will be sea level -I- possible up to such altitude as the supercharger is able to maintain I 1: It/ / 1.speed However. As represented in Fig. The effect of altitude on power faster. the aircraft will be at its absolute ceiling. When that point is reached. 9-16 (Upward because of the increase in power required PR. means that in most aircraft an altitude will be reached where the minimum level flight speed is above the stalling speed. as is discussed in more detail in the next chapter under climbing. they move upward and to the right as shown in Fig. the effect of altitude is to reduce the maximum speed and increase the minimum speed in level flight. 9-16.j. but supercharged engines must also ultimately suffer a loss of power as altitude is gained. of altitude will be the same as for a I ~speed normally aspirated engine. As a result. Note that as altitude is increased. The TAS at I : I which the aircraft stalls will be . 9-12 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . in general terms.

Review 9

1. The four main forces acting on an aircraft in flight are ............ , .............. ,
............. and ................... .

2. For straight and level flight at constant airspeed, ............... must
counterbalance the weight, and ...................... must counteract the drag.

3. The four main forces in flight rarely act through the same point. In most
circumstances there will be two couples acting to pitch the nose up or
down. These couples are the ................... couple and the ................... couple.

4. If the CG is ahead of the CP, the lift/weight couple will tend to pitch the nose
(up/down).

5. If the line of drag is above the line of thrust, this will tend to pitch the nose
(up/down).

6. It is the function of the ................................ to balance out the lift/weight and
thrust/drag couples in flight.

7. If power is reduced (thrust decreased) the nose of the aircraft will tend to
pitch (down/up).

8. For a low-wing aircraft, when the flaps are lowered you should expect the
nose to pitch (up/down).

9. For a high-wing aircraft, you should expect the nose to pitch (up/down)
when the flaps are lowered.

I 0. After an increase in speed in straight and level flight, the nose attitude will be
(higher/lower) than it was previously.

II. The curve of 'thrust required' for level flight is the same as the aircraft's ....... .
CUlVe.

12. The minimum thrust IAS is the speed for minimum ................. and
maximum ......................... ratio.

13. In straight and level flight at any given lAS, the power required = .............. .
X ...... .

I 4. For a given piston-engined aircraft in straight and level flight, the minimum
power IAS is (higher than/equal to/lower than) the minimum thrust lAS.

15. Given that drag can be equated to power/TAS, the minimum drag speed can
be found on the power required cUlve at the point where the line drawn
from the origin:
(a) is tangential to the cmve;
(b) intersects the bottom of the cmve.

16. The propulsive power available from the propeller at any given TAS is:
(a) the brake (horse)power measured at the propeller shaft;
(b) brake power minus the loss due to inefficiency of the propeller.

Principles of Flight Straight and Level Flight 9-13

17. The power available from the propeller at a given power setting, and the
power required for level flight, can be graphed against TAS. State what the
upper and lower intersections of these curves represent.

18. If the weight of the aircraft is decreased in level flight:
(a) the power required to maintain any given lAS is (increased/decreased);
(b) the maximum speed attainable will be (increased/decreased);
(c) the stalling speed will be (increased/decreased).

19. The power required to maintain any given lAS in level flight (increases/stays
the same/decreases) at higher altitude.

20. The power versus TAS (power required) curve for level flight moves (up/up
and to the right) on the graph as altitude increases.

21. The power available versus TAS curve moves (down/down and to the right)
as altitude is increased (setting aside the effect of supercharging).

22. When the point is reached where the bottom of the power required curve
just coincides with the power available curve, the aircraft is said to have
reached its ............................. ceiling.

9-14 Straight and Level Flight The Commercial Pilot Series

Climbing and Descending
Climbing
As an aircraft climbs it is gaining potential energy by virtue of the gain in altitude.
There are two ways in which this can be achieved:
• by making a zoom, where there is a short-term gain in altitude and a loss of
airspeed; or
• by climbing at a steady speed.

The Zoom

Provided it has sufficient speed, the aircraft will zoom climb if the nose attitude
is raised above the normal straight and level flight attitude for the speed
concerned. The climb is achieved by converting the velocity of the aircraft
(kinetic energy) into a gain in altitude (potential energy). Hence, speed must
reduce as altitude is gained in the zoom-in effect, speed is traded for altitude.
If the power setting is not changed, the altitude gain will depend on the initial
speed-a high speed conferring greater potential to gain altitude and vice versa.
If the nose attitude is not too high, the aircraft will probably gain some altitude
and then settle in level flight at a slower speed. With a very high nose attitude,
speed will continue to reduce until the aircraft stalls.

An extreme example of the zoom climb can be seen in an aerobatic glider
which, without the benefit of thrust, is able to gain sufficient speed (and kinetic
energy) to be flown through a looping manoeuvre without reducing speed
below the stalling speed.

The Steady Climb

Aircraft are usually climbed at a steady speed and rate of climb. In the normal
climb, power in excess of that required to counterbalance the drag is used to
gain altitude (potential energy). The greater the excess of power available, the
greater the ability to climb at a steady speed.

zoom climb:
decreasing airspeed and rate of climb

steady climb:
constant airspeed and rate of climb

Fig. 10-1. The zoom climb and the steady climb.

Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-1

The Forces Acting in the Climb
Before we examine the forces acting in a climb, consider the behaviour of a
vehicle at rest, first on a level surface, then on a slope (Fig. I 0-2).

On the level surface, the weight of the vehicle acts at right angles to the surface.
There is no force acting across the surface to move it and it will stay where it is,
unless it is driven or pushed away. However, when the van in our example is
parked on a slope, there are now two components to its weight:
• one at right angles to the slope (WI)
which acts to hold the vehicle against
the slope; and
• One which acts parallel to the slope,
which we can call the rearward
component of weight (RCW). If the van
had its parking brake released and was
out of gear, the rea1ward component of
its weight would cause it to roll w
backwards down the slope-the size of
the RCW and the rate of backward Fig. 10-2.
acceleration depending on the
steepness of the slope.

Although an aircraft in a steady climb does not have a solid slope to move on,
the principle of forces is exactly the same as a van on a hill. As shown in Fig. I 0-
3, an aircraft in a steady climb follows a flightpath which is inclined upward from
the horizontal by the climb angle (which we show as 8). Weight, as always, acts
vertically downwards, but in a climb it has the same two components as the van
in our previous example-one component which acts at right angles to the flight
path (WI), and the other which acts back down the flight path and parallel to
it-the rea1ward component of weight (RCW). The component of weight (WI)
in effect holds the aircraft against the flight path (when it is balanced by the lift)
The rea1ward component (RCW) acts in the same way as it did with the van-if
there is no force to oppose it, the aircraft will accelerate backwards down the
flight path. Hence, to climb at a steady speed, the rearward component of
weight must be opposed by thrust, acting parallel to and along the flight path.
Climbing does not therefore depend on generating more lift-which acts only to
balance the component of weight at right angles to the path of the climb.

lilt
Fig. 10-3. The forces acting in a 1.- -
climb (ignoring drag).

rearward component of weight
parallel with fiightpath
(W sin 0)

----- --
If.,,
:£.1
------((~limb angle 0~ / component of weight
~----------- -\A'"'" perpendicular to flightpath
I (W cos 8)
\
_jW1
weight W

10-2 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series

Note that the relative strength of the two components of weight depends on the
climb angle e. From simple trigonometly, we see that WI = W Cos e, and RCW
= W Sin 0. In practical terms, this means that as the climb angle becomes
steeper, the rearward component of weight (RCW) increases and the
perpendicular component (WI) diminishes. In a 90' climb, WI disappears and
the whole of the aircraft weight becomes the 'rearward component'.

In a steady climb at constant speed, the forces must be in equilibrium (if they
are not, the aircraft speed and/or the angle of climb will be changing). Ignoring
for the time being, the effect of aerodynamic drag, it can be seen from Fig. I 0-3
that the conditions for a steady climb will be met when:
• sufficient thrust is provided to balance the rearward component of weight,
i.e. Tl = RCW; and
• the lift, acting at right angles to the flightpath (as it does) balances the
remaining component of weight at right angles to the flightpath, i.e. L = WI.

That the forces are in equilibrium, can be confirmed by drawing in the
resultants. It can be seen from this that the weight (W) is equal and opposite to
(and supported by) the resultant of the lift (L) and the component of thrust
which we have called TI.

To complete the diagram of the forces acting in the climb, we must add in the
aerodynamic drag which is always present and acts parallel to the flightpath.
We have done this in Fig.l 0-4 and it can be seen that to maintain the balance of
forces, thrust must be increased by an amount equivalent to the drag, such that
total thrust (TT) is equal to the rearward component of weight plus the drag, i.e.
TT= RCW+ D.

The aircraft will maintain a steady climb, with the forces in equilibrium, when
the resultant (R) of the 'forward and upward' forces-total thrust and lift,
balances the resultant (Rl) of the 'rearward and downward' forces-the two
components of weight plus drag.

Fig. 10-4. The forces acting in a
steady climb.

NOTES:

I. In Figs. I 0-3 and I 0-4, we have assumed that thrust acts parallel to the
flightpath. In reality, it will normally be inclined upwards at a small angle.

Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-3

2. In a steady climb, as the angle of climb (e) increases, the requirement for
aerodynamic lift decreases. From Figs. I 0-3 and I 0-4, it can be seen that lift must
remain equal and opposite to the component of weight which is perpendicular to
the flight path. This component (WI = W cos e) reduces as the climb angle
becomes steeper, becoming zero in a 90" climb where, accordingly, no lift is
required. However, for training aircraft, where normal climb angles are quite
small (perhaps about 5") the lift force is only marginally less the weight. [Cos 5" =
0.99 which means that in a 5" climb, lift is 99% of the value for weight].

3. To climb at a given airspeed, sufficient thrust must be available to overcome
the drag at that airspeed and the rearward component of weight. Therefore, the
ability to climb (and how well the aircraft will climb) depends on having a surplus
of thrust (and power) available after overcoming the drag at the chosen climb
speed.

Climb Performance
The climb performance of an aircraft encompasses the:
• speed in the climb;
• rate of climb-i.e. the rate at which it gains altitude in feet per minute as
indicated on the vertical speed indicator (VSI); and
• angle of climb-the steepness of the flightpath over the ground, for which
there is no direct instrument indication in the cockpit.

Climbing Speed

For any given power setting, the speed in the climb is determined by the nose
attitude selected by the pilot. The higher the nose attitude, the lower the climb
speed and vice-versa. The recommended climbing power setting(s) and speed
(s) for a specific aircraft are given in the Pilots Operating Handbook.

Rate of Climb

At any given speed, the rate of climb is determined by the excess of power
available over the power required-i.e. the amount of power applied over the
power required to overcome the drag at that speed (in straight and level flight).
Shown in Fig. I 0-5 are typical power available/power required curves for a piston-
engined aircraft. The excess of power available (PA) over power required (PR) is
represented by the shaded area between the two curves.

full

Fig. 10-5.
At any given TAS, the rate of power
climb is determined by the (P)
excess of power available
over power required.

0 min. speed
TAS max. speed
level flight level flight

10-4 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series

it is possible to climb the aircraft at all speeds from just above the stalling speed to just below the maximum speed for straight and level flight (where admittedly the climb performance will be very poor). 10-6. That is. the rate of climb will be lower. Thus. therefore. but presented in a different way). I0-5 is for full power (maximum MP/rpm). in a steady climb: total thrust (TT) = D + W sin e. Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-5 . Note that: • At any given TAS. I 0-6. although on either side of the maximum rate of climb speed. the difference between PA over PR. the rate-of-climb performance is determined by the length of the vertical lines between the cwves-i. it can be seen that there is a range of airspeeds where there is little difference in the amount of excess power available and. It is quite normal (and convenient) to do this for other than steep climb angles since the angle of attack (and therefore the drag) at any given speed in the climb is virtually the same as the angle of attack and the drag at the same speed in level flight. (This curve contains the same information on excess power as Fig. 10-5.The diagram at Fig. At any other point on the curve. any errors present in using this curve will be negligible. rpm) The excess power cutve. Maximum Angle of Climb It can be seen from Fig. I 0-4 that in a steady climb the total thrust (TT) must balance the drag (D) plus the rearward component of weight (RCW). excess power available I EP Fig. there is a range of speeds where there is little difference in the amount of excess power available and therefore little difference in the rate of climb. For the typical aircraft represented. and the climb performance over the range of speeds possible will be reduced. I 0-3. the excess of PA ovel' PR reduces. stall 1\ max. of rate of climb. !peed TAS speed level flight speed for maximum rate of climb The climb speed for maximum rate of climb is the speed which coincides with the peak of the excess power curve for maximum MP/rpm. From Fig. If a lower power setting is used. the PA curve moves downward on the graph. (max.e. Maximum Rate of Climb The maximum rate of climb occurs at the speed where there is the greatest excess of power available_ This is more clearly seen if the excess power (EP) available is extracted from the PNPR curves and is plotted separately against TAS as shown in Fig. • The PA curve shown in Fig. I 0-5 is based on the PR cwve for straight and level flight. we saw that RCW = W sin e. At this power setting.

Fig. Note that here. represents the excess of thrust available at any given power setting. to fly the aircraft level or to climb at different true airspeeds.) (b. • Power is the rate of doing work. 10-7a shows typical thrust available and drag ('thrust required') curves for a piston-engined aircraft. The maximum angle of climb occurs at the speed where this excess of thrust over drag is at a maximum. the angle of climb in still air is determined by the excess of thrust available over the drag at the climbing speed. It is measured by the combination of the force applied and the velocity which it produces. we used the term excess power in relation to the rate of climb.drag sm 9 = weight (where e = the angle of climb) Now. 9-10. a high speed is reached where the propeller is unable to accelerate the air passing through it. we have introduced the term excess thrust whereas before. Eventually. The amount of thmst generated depends on the increase in velocity given to the mass of air entering the propeller disc-the greatest increase in velocity (and therefore the highest thrust) occurs when the aircraft is stationary. The difference between the drag and the power required cmves has already been illustrated at Fig. max. the propeller is less able to cause further acceleration to the air entering the disc. a slight increase with speed is shown. Thrust and power are not the same thing.) 10-6 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series . total thrust . 10-7. In simple terms: • Thrust is a force. (a. total thrust less the drag. thrust available (TA) I excess power EP / (EP) at max. The power available on the other hand increases as airspeed is gained. Thmst is the force produced by the propeller.g. Note the difference between these cmves and the PA and PR curves. rpm I drag (or 'thrust required') stall TAS Vx Vx Vy Fig. As airspeed is increased. Therefore. The power available curve gives an indication of how capable the engine/propeller combination is in effectively applying thrust at different true airspeeds. Whereas the 'raw' thrust available from the propeller decreases with speed. when it is combined with TAS to obtain power available. Power is the measure of how effectively that thrust can be put to work e. An aircraft propeller generates thrust by accelerating a mass of air toward the rear. Transposing the factors in this equation: . The maximum thrust is available when the aircraft has zero forward speed and decreases (rapidly at first) as airspeed is gained. and no thrust will be produced. for angle of climb. The power required curve combines the thrust required for level flight with theTAS gained. and thus the thrust drops off.

therefore. • The maximum angle-of-climb speed occurs at the point on the excess power curve where a line drawn from the origin is tangential to the cmve. At Vx. For a piston-engined aircraft. better fmward visibility. I 0-8). the best angle-of-climb speed Vx is in the order of I 0 or 15 knots less than the best rate-of-climb speed VY. Vx -the maximum angle-of-climb speed-can also be found (and is more clearly seen) on the excess power curve at the point where a line drawn from the origin of the cmve is tangential to the curve. rate of climb) to TAS (forward speed) is greatest and. so is the climb angle. as is the climb angle. the ratio of excess power (i. To summarize: • The maximum angle-of-climb speed is lower than the maximum rate-of-climb speed. Typically. This is typically at a speed which is just above the stalling speed. and an overall reduction in time taken en-route. If the aircraft is climbed at any higher speed the excess of thrust available over drag decreases as does the angle of climb. Because of the shape of the thrust available and drag/'thrust required' curves for a piston engined aircraft (Fig I0-7a). Indeed. 10-8. Normal Climbing Speed Training aircraft are usually climbed at maximum power. the maximum excess of thrust over drag (which is required for maximum angle of climb) typically occurs at a speed which is close to the stalling speed. which relies solely on the amount of excess power available is usually much higher. the ratio of rate-of-climb to forward speed is lower.e. The maximum rate of climb speed. but the higher speed permits better engine cooling. I 0-7b with the maximum rate-of-climb speed Vv shown for comparison. Vx normal Note: Refer to your Pilot's Operating Handbook for the actual values of the various climb speeds for your particular aircraft. Climbing at the higher end of this range means little is lost in terms of time to climb to the desired altitude. there is a range of speeds over which there is little variation in excess power and therefore rate of climb. This is shown in Fig. while the rate of climb is higher. This difference between the two speeds is shown again in the next diagram (Fig. The normal climb speed is usually higher than the speed for maximum rate of climb and is a compromise between speed and rate of climb. As we have just seen. t ALTITUDE GAINED MAXANGLE Vx MAX RATE CLIMB Vv IN A GIVEN TIME CLIMB Vy Fig. At VY. The maximum-rate of climb speed lies below the peak of the excess power curve. Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-7 . it is not easy to distinguish where the maximum excess of thrust available over drag (and therefore the best angle-of climb speed- Vx) occurs. on some aircraft the maximum angle of climb speed is the lowest safe speed above the stalling speed at which the aircraft can be climbed.

Flap and/or Undercarriage Extension Extended flaps (and particularly full flap) will decrease climb performance since. In aircraft with retractable undercarriage. for almost all aircraft. The Amount of Power Applied Reduced power decreases climb performance since the amount of excess power over power required is reduced. the weight of the aircraft. The power required to maintain any given speed in level flight increases with increased weight (Fig. for some aircraft. an aircraft should not be flown in an extended climb at the maximum angle-of-climb speed. the L/D ratio is reduced and the power required to maintain any given speed is increased. and the conditions are conducive to overheating. 10-8 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series .e. insofar as climb angle over the ground is concerned. (Refer again to Fig. Flying faster or slower than the recommended airspeed can degrade the climb performance which is being aimed for.to obtain the shortest take off distance and best obstacle clearance in the climb-out at a safe speed above the stalling speed. The best climb performance is achieved at the lighter aircraft weights. The general tendency will also be for the angle of climb to be lower with smaller amounts of flap deflection because of the poorer UD ratio. Airspeed. cooling is poor. altitude. The angle-of-climb performance with full flap will also be much poorer than with the flaps up. the use of the take-off flap setting results in a relatively small increase of drag but permits a slower safe climbing speed where this increase in drag is virtually offset by the higher thrust available. flap and/or undercarriage extension. Although the UD ratio is poorer in these circumstances. leaving the landing gear extended increases the drag and reduces the climb performance. However. Factors Affecting Climb Performance Anything which acts to reduce the amount of power available over the power required (i. 10-?a). the airspeed being maintained. 9- 15 refers). full power is being used at a very low airspeed. Use the maximum angle climb only for as long as is necessary and be careful with your handling of the aircraft as the speed employed is usually very close to the stalling speed. the Pilots Operating Handbook may recommend the use of a 'take-off flap setting for a 'short field' take-off-i. Weight An increase in weight will degrade climb performance. the wind. As a consequence. As a general rule. In this type of climb. the excess power available) will affect the performance of the aircraft in the climb. The factors include. manoeuvring and. Heavy weights can markedly degrade both the rate and angle of climb. If the aircraft is not climbing as well as expected. detonation and engine damage.e. The best rate-of-climb performance is invaliably achieved with the flaps up. There is therefore a smaller excess available for climbing. temperature. the amount of power applied. Both the rate and angle of climb will be reduced. first check that full power (or the recommended power) is set.

the power required and power available curves move closer together and the climb performance gradually deteriorates as the excess power available reduces. the power required/power available curves coincide and all of the power available will be needed to maintain the aircraft in level flight at the speed where the curves coincide. Manoeuvring Any manoeuvring in the climb-e. 10-10.service ceiling 200 fpm 500 fpm sea level Temperature At any altitude where the air temperature is higher than the standard figure.. The effect of altitude on the excess power available for climbing. The service ceiling-which has a more practical application-is reached at a lower altitude. angle of climb ( 'V ) as altitude is increased p EP TAS TAS Fig. Fig. Altitude The decrease in air density as altitude is gained causes a decrease in both engine and airframe performance. rate of climb ( +------) and to max.g. Climb performance deteriorates gradually as altitude is gained.absolute ceiling 100 fpm. If the climb is continued. As shown in Figs. I 0-9 and I 0-10.... At this point the aircraft will have reached what is called its absolute ceiling. 10-9.. .. turning-will absorb some or all of the excess power available and climb performance will be reduced. climb performance will be reduced because of the reduction in air density. Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-9 . PA sea level note the changes to max. when the rate of climb has been reduced to 100 feet per minute...

Flying speed in the glide is maintained by lowering the nose attitude and by allowing the potential energy of the aircraft (altitude) to be converted to kinetic energy (speed) in a controlled fashion.g. Gliding involves closing the throttle fully so that no thrust is produced. 10-11. in most circumstances the propeller will be driven by the airflow-it will 'windmill' and create a small amount of additional drag. If done carefully. 10-10 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series . because of the possibility of the aircraft sinking as lift is lost. The effect of wind on the climb angle. When there are no obstacles ahead. a caution was given about raising the flaps when flying at low levels and low speeds The most likely requirement for this is during a go-round (or baulked approach) with full flap lowered. the rate of descent is determined by the speed being maintained. the aircraft will not sink and a safe margin will be maintained above the stalling speed. In a power-on descent. In effect.ililllwind 0 same climb speed and power windilill·~ IN A GIVEN TIME same altitude gain Fig. circumstances dictate that the flaps should be raised at a lower height (e. the loss of lift as the flaps are raised is balanced by the gain in lift through the increasing airspeed. the climbout with full flap is not normally a problem and. Wind Headwind and tailwind components affect the climb angle over the ground. altitude is traded for speed. If however. no wind tailwind DISTANCE TRAVELLED over the ground IN A GIVEN TIME Caution: Raising the Flap after a Baulked Approach In Chapter 9. The speed maintained in the glide is determined by the nose attitude selected and. within the range of gliding speeds available. where this is necessary to gain a better climb angle to avoid an obstacle). they should be raised slowly to enable the aircraft to gradually accelerate to the higher airspeed. with the throttle fully closed. ALTITUDE GAINED t . but the rate of descent is determined and controlled by the amount of power applied. speed is also controlled by the nose attitude. the climb performance of most aircraft is significantly reduced. Descending There are two ways in which an aircraft is normally descended-in a glide or in a power-on descent. With full flap lowered. to prevent the possibility of sinking. In this way. but not the rate of climb as shown in Fig I 0-11 below. the usual practice is to establish the aircraft in a positive climb at a safe height before starting to raise the flaps. In fact.

TR w w Fig. lift and drag. If the LID ratio is high the glide angle will be shallow. In this diagram. The lift/drag ratio determines the angle of glide. Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-11 . 10-12. As shown in the diagram. ' The forces acting in a glide.> . if the forces are resolved with relation to the flightpath.') . If the LID ratio is poor. the resultant of lift and drag-the total reaction force (TR)-is equal and opposite to the weight. 10-13. In a steady glide at constant speed these three forces are in equilibrium.'I ' '' component of weight parallel to flightpath Fig.Gliding The forces acting in the glide are shown in Fig. the perpendicular component of weight is balanced by the lift. it is assumed that any thrust from the propeller is negligible with the throttle closed. the nose attitude of the aircraft must be adjusted so that this component of the weight remains equal to the drag. When the forces are resolved vertically. Gliding Performance Glide Angle The glide angle at any given speed in the glide is directly determined by the lift/ drag (LID) ratio. TR lift fj. 10-12. '' ' ' ' ''' '' ' t_' ' ' weight In the glide. the glide angle will be steep. To maintain a given speed in the glide. only three of the four main forces are present-weight. and the component of weight parallel to the flightpath (which provides the speed of the aircraft) is equal and opposite to the drag.

the UD ratio will not be as good and the glide angle will be steeper. To obtain the best gliding performance. the glide angle (distance travelled horizontally in the airmass per unit of altitude lost) is in direct proportion to the l!D ratio. However. 10-12 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series . This angle of attack is usually about 4°. The higher nose attitude may give the appearance of a decreased glide angle. hence flying at the recommended glide or descent speed will ensure that the aircraft is at or close to this most efficient angle of attack. I higher 1 lower <:=l=i> speeds l speeds oo • 4° Angle-of-attack 16° t best glide angle of attack When undershooting on a glide approach. Fig. As can be seen from Fig. best LID ratio I higher angles of attack: I steeper glide I Liftldrag I ratio I I lower angles I Fig. there is a great temptation to raise the nose attitude and 'stretch the glide'.10-14. The pilot has no direct indication of angle of attack in the cockpit. 9 I Use of Flaps In almost all aircraft. 10-15. The stalling speed will also be lower and it will be possible to glide with flap down at a slower speed and still maintain a safe margin above the stalling speed. If the glide speed is higher or lower than recommended. the lowering of flaps reduces the UD ratio and the glide angle is steeper as a result. 10-13. but in fact the aircraft will be descending on a steeper path at a higher angle of attack. When the flaps are lowered. The greatest range (and the shallowest angle) in the glide will be achieved when the aircraft is flown at the angle of attack for the best UD ratio. keep to the recommended speed. at this lower speed. Flying at a higher or lower speed will result in a steeper glide angle and reduced range. Flying at the correct gliding speed ensures the best range is achieved in the glide. Gliding at the recommended of attack: I speed gives the best UD ratio and the steeper glide I greatest distance in the glide. the nose attitude must also be lowered to maintain the gliding speed.

or on the rate of descent. the glide angle relative to the airmass is the same. The Effect of Weight Aircraft weight does not affect the glide angle. a slightly lower glide speed could be used when lightly loaded. The recommended descent speed in the Pilot's Operating Handbook will be suitable for all normal weights in a light training aircraft. The best glide angle is the same at all weights but airspeed must be lower at lower weights. J. the rate of descent will be slightly lower and the time taken to reach the ground will be longer. the flightpath of the aircraft will be the same as its glide angle. headwind and tailwind). shallower in a tailwind. theoretically. the nose attitude and airspeed in all three cases will be identical. The effect of wind is illustrated in Fig. Although the range in the glide is not altered. It does not affect the glide distance through the airmass. 10-16. The variation in weight for most training aircraft is not usually great enough to significantly affect the glide if the recommended glide speed is used at all times-even though. When flying a glide approach to land. The recommended glide speed stated in the Pilot's Operating Handbook is based on maximum gross weight. Note however. In all three cases illustrated (nil wind. A decrease in weight means that the angle of attack for best UD ratio will occur at a slightly lower airspeed. do not lower the flaps until you are sure that the aircraft has sufficient height to reach the intended landing point at the steeper glide angle. or the rate of descent. Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-13 .. If there is no wind.L same angle of attack: /I different weights and I / recommended speed different airspeeds I I w Fig. Conversely a tailwind component increases the range of the glide over the ground. When the airmass is moving relative to the ground (when there is a wind).. the UD ratio will be poorer and consequently the glide angle will be steeper than with the flaps up and gliding at the recommended speed. but has no effect on the glide angle through the air. the fiightpath in the glide will be different-steeper in a headwind. 10-1 7. The Effect of Wind A headwind component reduces the glide distance over the ground.

Fig. If. The Power-on Descent In a glide. If you wish to descend at the same airspeed but at a higher rate with power on. 10-18. and rate and angle of descent available in a power-on descent and. for example. there are two things you can do: • reduce the power and/or • increase the drag (lower the flaps. I component of weight r \j assisting forward motion and balancing drag I W There are a number of combinations of airspeed. the rate and angle of descent may be controlled with power. 10-14 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series . performance is necessarily limited because no power is applied-the performance of the aircraft (airspeed and rate of descent) is determined solely by attitude. less with a headwind. More ground is covered gliding with a tailwind. As more and more power is applied. once again. The forces acting in a power-on descent. 10-17. the flightpath may be made shallower and the rate of descent reduced by applying power and raising the nose attitude at the same time so that the speed is maintained. you will usually need a lower nose attitude. it is a matter of selecting the right amount of power and placing the aircraft in the right nose attitude to obtain the performance you want. tailwind component Fig. extend the undercarriage-if retracted). and the airspeed with the attitude selected. When the flaps are lowered. In this way. To give greater control over the rate of descent. the aircraft is in a glide at the recommended speed. the aircraft will eventually return to level flight Yet more power and an even higher nose attitude and it will climb. thrust can be added by applying power. Any small adjustments to the power will require a corresponding adjustment to be made to the nose attitude for the desired speed to be maintained. and the nose further raised.

........... the rate of climb which is achievable is determined by the excess of power ......... available over drag.... 11. there will be two components-one parallel to the flightpath... The maximum (or best) rate of climb is obtained at the TAS where there is the greatest ................. At any given TAS.. power in excess of that required to balance the (weight/drag) is used to gain altitude. at the point where the line drawn from the origin is ............. The speed for best rate of climb (VY) can be found on the same curve at the ....... over power .. The perpendicular component of weight which is balanced by the lift is measured by W cos 8 (where 8 is the angle of climb)............ In a steady climb at constant speed.......... ............. ... and (b) the lift must balance the . For small angles of climb........................ In a zoom climb. applied) over the amount of .............. required to overcome the drag at that speed. The RCW is opposed by (thrust/drag).... 4..... For a piston-engined aircraft....... The speed for best angle of climb (Vx) can be found on the excess power versus TAS curve.... while the perpendicular component must be counterbalanced by (lift/thrust).......... ... and one perpendicular to the flightpath. In a steady climb......................... 2....... of the Clllve... if the weight of the aircraft is resolved with respect to the flightpath................... 9.... 8.......... 7.....e...... of power available over power required................. it is therefore true to say that the lift is fractionally (greater/less) than the weight.... to the curve....... selected by the pilot........... 5. 10.... 6......... The maximum (or best) angle of climb will be achieved at theTAS where there is the greatest excess of ...... of weight plus the ....... for .......... [the rea1ward component of weight (RCW)].. State three advantages of climbing at this higher speed... In the full diagram of forces acting in a steady climb: (a) total thrust must balance the ................ and at a slightly lower rate of climb.......... .. The normal climb speed will usually be a faster speed than VY.. 12... Review 10 Climbing 1.................... The speed in a steady climb is determined by the ....... ...... of weight. the excess of power available will (increase/decrease) and the rate of climb achieved will be (higher/lower)..... available (i........ the best angle of climb speed (Vx) is typically (lowe1)higher) than the best rate of climb speed (VY).............. 14.............. the rate of climb is determined by the amount of ..... 13......... Principles of Flight Climbing and Descending 10-15 .. If the aircraft is climbed at less than full power.... In a steady climb.................... kinetic energy is converted to potential energy by trading .................................. 3.

..... the rate of climb will be (reduced/unaffected). the speed for the best glide angle will be (higher/lower). the glide angle (steeper/shallower).. If an aircraft is climbed in a tailwind......./ .. (a) the power required curve moves .... ..... Descending 23........ turned) while in a steady climb at constant power...... . the excess of power available over power required (decreases/stays the same/increases) and climb performance (decreases/ stays the same/increases) as altitude is gained........... At a lower weight.. I 7.... the aircraft must be flown at the airspeed which achieves the angle of attack for the best . 26... climb performance (will be poorer/will not be affected). 18......... 28. 24. 25... In a power-on descent...... 16...g..... In a steady speed glide........ .. and to the .... A better rate and angle of climb will be achieved when the aircraft is at (higher/lower) weight.......... the component of ..... The rate of climb will be (unaffected/higher/lower)....... ... ............... ....... 21 If the aircraft is manoeuvred (e.. Climb angle is a function of the amount of height gained in a given horizontal .... The range in the glide will be (increased/decreased) but the time taken to reach the ground will be (longer/shorter/the same). the climb angle over the ground will be (less than/the same as) in nil wind conditions...... Rate-of-climb is measured by the amount of height gained in a given ............. 19.. 10-16 Climbing and Descending The Commercial Pilot Series ......... 15.. The rate of climb with flap extended will be (better than/the same as/poorer than) the rate of climb without flap.... the nose attitude will be (lower/higher)... Aircraft weight (affects/does not affect) the glide angle.. the speed is controlled by ....... 20... which is parallel to the tlightpath is equal to the drag............ Therefore (from Q 19).. 22...... If the flaps are lowered in the glide and speed is maintained.................... and the rate of descent (higher/lower)... : (b) the power available curve moves .... Gliding with a tailwind component will make the tlightpath over the ground (shallower/steeper). If power is reduced.... 29.. A headwind or tailwind component (does/does not) affect the glide angle through the airmass.......... 27....... The effect of altitude on the power required and power available curves is........... and the rate of descent is controlled by the amount of ....... For the shallowest glide angle and the best still-air gliding range..

. Turning Introduction 11 In the last two chapters. although the general principles we discuss here apply equally to most manoeuvring flight. Any manoeuvring in a non-aerobatic aircraft will normally be made up of these elements. your hand supplies a lift force which is equal and opposite to the weight of the object-under conditions which are similar to straight and level flight. To keep it on its curved path. a natural tendency to want to continue travelling in a straight line (and will therefore fly off at a tangent if released). We now consider the forces acting when an aircraft follows a curved path. If the object is suspended vertically. which can be measured by the formula: Wv 2 CPF = gr (*centripetal means centre-seeking) Turning an aircraft is analogous to whirling an object tied to a stling. We look at four specific cases- level. climbing and descending turns. From Chapter I. if you whirl the object on a curved path a much greater lifting force must be provided along the string so that its vertical component is sufficient to support the weight. L -------- f------------: L I I I I this component ""I I counteracts weight I I I . climbing or descending. 11-1.-)!J \___ this component is centripetal force: it holds the object on its curved path Fig. we know this force as centripetal* force (CPF). However.e. we considered the forces acting on the aircraft in straight flight-either level. because of its inertia. a force must be continually applied to it toward the centre of the cwve. The total lifting force is greater than the weight of the object and you can certainly feel this increase. A study of more complex aerobatic manoeuvres is outside the scope of this manual. and manoeuvring in the vertical plane. Turning Any object which is constrained to travel on a curved path has. and the horizontal component- the centripetal force-is sufficient to keep the object turning. Centripetal force pulls w w an object into a tum. i.. one which requires radial acceleration toward the centre of the curve. Principles of Flight Turning 11-1 .

In coordination with the ailerons. for any given speed.. The steeper the angle of bank. the lift force counteracts the weight of the aircraft.'' w w w 30° bank angle 60° bank angle Fig. with rudder being used to maintain balance. a force toward the centre of the turn must be generated. rudder pressure is used in the same direction as the roll to prevent any adverse yaw and keep the aircraft balanced. I I . elevator is used to control the lift and to keep the aircraft level. 11-2. The steeper the level turn.. 11-2 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . the greater is the centripetal force and.. Note also that the steeper the angle of bank. It is this horizontal component of lift-the centripetal force-which pulls the aircraft into a turn and keeps it turning.. the angle of attack of the wings must be increased by applying backward pressure on the control column. To generate this increase of lift at the same speed. "back pressure is placed on the control column to increase the angle of attack and increase the lift. As has already been explained in Chapter 7. while the ailerons are deflected and the aircraft is rolling. In summmy.. If the lift is not increased as the aircraft rolls into the turn. Use of the Controls The ailerons are used to roll into the turn and to control the angle of bank. When the roll is stopped and aileron is being used to control the bank angle. To turn in level flight.. . the greater the lift force required to maintain the vertical component of lift equal to the weight. This is done by banking the aircraft and tilting the lift force so that it has a horizontal component. the greater the back pressure required to hold the aircraft in the turn. less rudder pressure will normally be needed to keep the coordination ball centred. The Level Turn In straight and level flight. the smaller the radius and the 'tighter' the turn will be. the greater the lift required from the wings. during a level turn the ailerons are used to roll the aircraft and control the angle of bank.L +--------------. L A. L 1 .} > . the vertical component of lift opposing the weight will reduce and the aircraft will descend.----. The steeper the angle of bank in the turn. At the same time as the aircraft is rolled. the wings must generate increased lift to provide both the centripetal force for the turn and a vertical component to counteract the weight. To turn an aircraft.

L = W). The reaction to this increase in lift is felt as an increase in the load-the aircraft and evel)'thing in it has now undergone an apparent increase in weight.e. The Joss in speed is soon recovered once the aircraft is returned to straight and level flight. the small reduction in airspeed caused by the relatively small increase in drag is usually accepted. I I -3. the load on the aircraft is the weight and. If the power is not increased. 1<11!(-------. -------1>- ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' resultant of w resultant of w centrifugal reaction and weight centrifugal reaction and weight i. The pilot now experiences a greater force from the aircraft seat and feels heavier than before.e. equal to his or her normal weight. the greater the increase in drag. ------1>. The steeper the angle of bank in the turn.e. In medium-banked level turns. As we have seen. The origin of this increase in the loading-the apparent increase in weight-is shown in Fig. It is felt as I 'g' or I times the normal acceleration due to gravity. component supporting force component supporting W + from the ground 'L' supporting W L ~I \. This resultant force is equal and opposite to the lift and is the same force which is experienced by say. with lift equal to the weight (i.-<(-----. Drag Increases in a Turn A consequence of increasing the angle of attack of the wings to produce the centripetal force necessal)' for the turn. 11-3. is that drag (mostly induced drag) also increases. The pilot experiences the same force from the aircraft seat as if sitting at a desk on the ground-i. Load Factor In straight and level flight.' loading' (equal and opposite to 'L') (equal and opposite to L) Fig. power must be increased to provide extra thrust to offset the increase in drag. If a constant airspeed is to be maintained in a level turn. with no change being made to the power setting. I 'centrifugal' 'centrifugal' reaction centripetal force reaction centripetal force . The load imposed when manoeuvring is the resultant of the reaction to centripetal force and the weight. the load factor is said to be I. It is the resultant of the weight and the reaction to the centripetal force imposed (sometimes called 'centrifugal force'). a racing car travelling at high speed around a steeply-banked cmved track (and which prevents it from sliding to the bottom of the banked surface).' loading' i. In steep turns (45° angle of bank or higher) it is usual to increase power as the turn is entered to provide the extra thrust needed to offset the potentially much greater reduction in airspeed. Principles of Flight Turning 11-3 . the airspeed will decrease. in a turn the lift force must be greater than the weight so that it can produce a vertical component to oppose the weight. and a horizontal component (centripetal force) to provide the necessa1y acceleration toward the centre of the curve.e.

e.e. he or she will feel twice as heavy as normal. as shown in the CU!Ve of load factor plotted against bank angle for a level turn (Fig. i. and the pilot experiences a force from the seat which is twice the normal weight. LIFT BEING GENERATED LOAD FACTOR = WEIGHT In a level turn with 60° angle of bank. the load factor is 3. In level turns at small bank angles. At bank angles above 60°. Notes: In a 30" bank level turn. The wing is required to produce lift equal to twice the weight to maintain altitude. The force on everything else in the aircraft is also doubled. the load factor is not very high. The pilot will feel a force of 2'g' i. This means that the force on the wings (the loading) is doubled when compared with straight and level flight. i. irrespective of airspeed. Any increase in lift results in an increase of wing loading. A measure of how much the loading of an aircraft is increased during manoeuvres is given by the load factor-which is the ratio of the lift force being generated by the wings at any given moment compared to the weight of the aircraft. i. rate of turn or size of aircraft. the lift generated by the wings must increase greatly if the vertical component is to counteract the weight. 11-4). Load factor versus bank angle 1n a level turn. the wings are producing ISo/o more lift than in straight and level flight. L = 2W. At a little over 70° bank angle. 4 3 LOAD FACTOR (L/W) or lgl 2 1 0 10° 20° 30" 40" 50" 60" 70" 80" BANK ANGLE Fig. At 60° bank angle the load factor is 2. The load factor in these circumstances is said to be 2. 11-4 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series .e. the wings produce a lift force which is double the weight. the load factor is 1·15'g'. 2'g'. 11-4.e. and the pilot will feel 15o/o heavier. This is true for all 60° bank level turns. othe1wise altitude will be lost.

Percentage increase in stalling speed versus bank angle. it is possible to achieve a zero load factor for a short period. 20'. Any further attempt to increase the angle of bank and rate of turn will result in the aircraft stalling (at the speed which has been maintained). If. 11-5. this means that at each successive angle of bank. Principles of Flight Turning 11-5 . lift is reduced in this manner to 50% of the weight. Eventually. The same condition can be experienced for brief periods during severe turbulence. to provide the lift needed for the turn. the load factor will be 0·5. As the aircraft is maintaining a constant speed. It is possible to have a load factor which is less than one-for example. If the bunt is strong enough. For example. the angle of attack will have reached the critical angle.When the aircraft load acts in the direction which the weight normally acts. Thus the stalling speed in the turn has been increased in concert with the increase in the angle of bank and the increase in lift needed to sustain the turn. the wings must generate sufficient lift to counteract the weight. Stalling in Turns Consider an aircraft flying at a constant !AS in a level turn at successively increased angle of bank (I 0'. PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN STALL SPEED ) load factor or 0 15' 30' 45' 60' 75' BANK ANGLE Fig. and so on). This is the state of so-called 'weightlessness' where anything in the aircraft (including pilot and crew) tend to float up out of the normal position if not restrained. the load factors are positive. for example. In each successive turn with a steeper bank angle. when the control column is pushed forward in what is called a bunting manoeuvre and the lift is reduced to below the weight. but at a 'negative' angle of attack when compared to normal upright flight. an aircraft has a load factor of minus I when it is rolled 'upside down' and is flown level in the inverted position. Negative load factors occur whenever the load on the aircraft and the lift vector act in the reverse direction to that in which they would normally act. For the aircraft to remain level when it is inverted. 30'. the angle of attack must be increased to provide the increase in lift needed for the turn. the angle of attack is closer to the stalling angle than it was previously. Negative load factors may also be experienced for brief periods in severe turbulence. an angle of bank will be reached where.

Note that this is the same graph as Fig. At altitude. Gusts and turbulence can also have an effect in producing an uninvited increase (or decrease) in angle of attack. Accordingly. The increase in the lift needed for the turn results in an increase in the load factor. a need for heightened awareness of stalling speed during slower-speed turns near the ground. 11-4.e. turning performance is determined by the angle of bank and airspeed in the turn. In a level turn. from the pilot's point of view. There are two elements which determine the turning performance-load factor and TAS. power is normally increased to offset the increase in drag-to limit the reduction in speed which results and to provide a bigger margin above the increased stalling speed. and 71KIAS in a turn with 60' bank angle. the small increase in stalling speed is usually of no concern. provided any 'g' limitations are observed. will always be 2. is that the aircraft is being operated with a relatively small margin above the stalling speed and any untoward increase in angle of bank and loading can quickly bring the wings to the stalling angle of attack. speed or weight. Although strictly speaking. You will recall that: stall speed (in the turn or manoeuvre) = basic stall speed x --lload factor. the rate of change of the aircraft heading) and the radius (i. Turning Performance Turning perfmmance is comprised of the rate of turn (i. In steep turns. except that. The artificial horizon can thus be used to give an indication of the loading on the aircraft. and • 100% at 75' bank angle. of course. The main concern here. • 19% at 45' bank angle. Note that by comparison with the straight- and-level speed in the same conFig.e. the square root of the load factor). the load factor is always associated with a particular angle of bank. against the vertical axis. 11-5. in gusting. about 59KIAS at 45' bank. as has been explained in the previous section. Fig. Where angle of attack is increased for this reason. Few light aircraft are fitted with an accelerometer to give a cockpit reading of the load factor (or 'g') being applied at any time.uration. 11-5 applies only to level turns.uration) with increased angle of bank is shown in Fig. the aircraft can normally be flown safely in a steep turn right to the verge of the stall where the onset of pre-stall buffet signals the need to reduce the angle of bank and or 'g' loading. turbulent conditions it is normally recommended that higher approach speeds be used so that a safe margin above stalling speed is maintained. load factor has been replaced by the increase in stalling speed (which is. However. the load factor and angle of bank in a level turn are directly related. stalling speed is increased by: • 7% at 30' bank angle. Hence. and. the load factor and stalling speed are also increased. The increase in stalling speed (above the straight-and-level stalling speed in the same conFig. it can for all practical purposes be taken to apply to turns in a normal climb or descent-any difference in stalling speed at a given angle of bank in climbing level or descending flight will be very small. an aircraft with a basic stalling speed of SOKIAS will stall at a little over 53KIAS at 30' bank. as explained previously. the amount of the increase in stalling speed in a turn (or any manoeuvre) is directly related to load factor. There is however. the load factor in a 60' banked level turn for example. • 41 o/o at 60'bank angle. as we saw in Chapter 8. In medium-banked turns at normal cruising speeds. Regardless of aircraft type. Hence. 'tightness') of the turn. 11-6 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series .

it is less than that required to achieve the same performance at the higher altitude. However. as the TAS (V) has increased with the gain in altitude. 11-6) L steeper bank angle L low bank angle + I same lAS I small turning force larger turning force large radius smaller radius low rate of turn higher rate of turn Fig. Now consider the aircraft in the same turn at altitude with the same angle of bank and lAS. or TAS. let's say I 00 units. if the airspeed is 110 knots.ure and adding seven. the angle of bank required for a rate I (or standard rate) turn is II + 7 = 18°. the radius of turn increases. 11-7. Imagine an aircraft in a steady turn at low level where the conditions just happened to be 'standard' and the lAS was equal to the TAS. For a given bank angle. As the centripetal force being produced by the wings has remained at the same I 00 units. the rate of turn increases and the radius of turn decreases. the same centripetal force of 100 unit is being produced by the wings. depends on lAS. 11-7) Fig. larger radius and lower rate of turn same bank angle The Standard Rate (or Rate 1) Turn There is sometimes a requirement. On the other hand. (Fig. For example. The Effect of Altitude The force used to turn an aircraft-the horizontal component of lift-is an aerodynamic force. Principles of Flight Turning 11-7 . as the angle of bank is increased. 11-6. The angle of bank which will achieve this depends on airspeed and an easy way of mentally calculating the required bank angle in a light aircraft is given by dropping the last digit from the airspeed Fig. (Fig. to execute a standard rate turn of 3° per second or 180° per minute. If the airspeed is 130 knots.ure.For a given airspeed. the force required to achieve any given radius and rate of turn-the centripetal force-is measured by WV'/gr and therefore depends on V. particularly in instrument flying. The centripetal force produced by the wings could be measured by the formula WV2/gr and would amount to some Fig. the centripetal force (WV2/gr) required to turn on the same radius and at the same rate will also have increased-say to II 0 units. the angle of bank for a rate I turn is 13 + 7 = 20°. and as such. and the rate of turn decreases as speed is increased. As the lAS is the same.

11-8. the turning performance of an aircraft is independent of its weight. the rate of turn decreases and the radius increases as altitude is gained. a high-weight aircraft will achieve the same rate and radius of turn as a low-weight aircraft at the same lAS and angle of bank. The effect of altitude on the turn. At a given lAS and load factor (angle of bank). for a given lAS. Or put another way.Fig.L . HIGH ALTITUDE larger radius and lower rate of turn same lAS and bank angle same horizontal component of lift smaller radius and higher rate of turn Hence for a given !AS and angle of bank. it will reach its stalling angle of attack sooner (at a lower angle of bank) than when it has less weight. 11-9. A----. The difference is that the higher weight aircraft requires a higher angle of attack (at the same speed and angle of bank) to generate the lift force necessary to overcome the weight and provide the centripetal force for turning. If the aircraft is heavy. 11-8 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . an increase in angle of bank will be required to maintain a turn at the same radius and rate. The effect of weight on the turn. and it will thus have a poorer maximum rate/minimum radius of turn capability. The Effect of Weight Weight affects only the maximum rate and mtmmum radius which can be achieved by an aircraft in a turn. as altitude is gained.----- 1 L Both aircraft 1 : I Higher weight: SAME: I : I HIGHER: lAS I I angle of attack angle of bank stalling speed load factor (LNI) rate of turn radius of turn w w Fig. Apart from this.

For these reasons. When the aircraft is banked with high power applied. this helps to reduce the aerodynamic lift force required from the wings. a (CLmax) Max. It is usual therefore to increase power as the aircraft is rolled into a steep turn. Maximum Rate and Minimum Radius Turns Minimum Radius Consider Fig. (less than 45° bank).----~. 11-11 which depicts an aircraft being flown in a level turn at the verge of the stall (wings at CLmax) and at the maximum angle of bank which can be sustained without stalling. resulting in a lower angle of attack and a lowered stalling speed. positive control and accurate handling. Fig. I I ' I I (a) I (b) low lAS higher lAS 15. the increase in drag at the higher angles of attack being used. bank angle I large radiu I low rate of turn t w w Principles of Flight Turning 11-9 .. The steep turn is a high performance manoeuvre which requires good coordination. the use of a high power setting also helps the aircraft to turn and provides a a wider operating margin above the stalling speed. in a steep turn. 11-11. a component of thrust increasingly acts in the same direction as the lift (Fig. bank angle l small Max. Steep Turns A steep turn is one in which the bank angle is 45° or greater. In a steep turn. the use of high power in a steep turn helps the aircraft to turn and reduces the stalling speed. the aircraft is being operated nearer to its manoeuvre limits and the margin between the aircraft speed and the stalling speed is reduced. power is not normally increased to offset the increase in drag. with the small loss in speed being accepted for the duration of the turn. a (CLmax) 15. However. In a medium turn. Fig. At the higher angles of attack involved in a steep turn. steep turns at low altitude should be avoided where possible. 11-10 In addition to helping overcome the drag. becomes significant. 11-1 0 refers). to offset the potentially much greater loss of speed. L . In addition to combating the higher drag.

for minimum radius the angle of bank needs to be as high as possible. therefore. The aircraft will thus be turning on the smallest radius which is possible at that speed. radius versus airspeed. the I 1. Fig. Min. and for that to be sustained in a level turn. with the minimum radius being achieved at infinitely high speed. when a higher bank angle can be sustained as a result of the increase in speed. with the wings already at CLmax. it can be shown that the radius of turn: where VB = basic stall speed. drag in a sustained minimum-radius turn at VA. t have sufficient excess stall VB VA lAS power available which can be used to offset the Fig. This is shown in diagram (b). 1 practice radius With the restriction in load factor (and i _. an increase in speed tends to increase (not decrease) the radius of the turn-and it was certainly true for a fixed angle of bank. In reality. It indicates that the radius of turn (turning as hard as possible) will decrease with increased speed. If I the aircraft is flown on the I iI 1 turn radius with wings at verge of the stall above CLmax and with max. Thus. 11-12. To have a smaller radius of turn..imposed) consequently on angle of bank) above VA. VB' g tan~ At any given time.. However. For. as indicated. as we saw previously. the aircraft 'g' limits will be exceeded. The diagram at (a) represents the maximum centripetal force which can be generated at the relatively low speed. bank this speed. The aircraft will usually settle in the turn at a slower speed and. II -12 shows a curve of the theoretical radius of turn against lAS. which follows that increase in speed. practical considerations intervene: • The minimum radius will be achieved at the design manoeuvring speed VA. VB and g can be considered as constants. When an aircraft is flown in a level turn with the wings at the angle of attack for CLmax. the advantage gained through the increase in CPF outweighs the 'disadvantage' (in terms of increased radius of turn).. and ~ = angle of bank. the only option for achieving that is to increase speed so that the lift and angle of bank can be increased without stalling. hence the radius of turn (wings on the verge of the stall) is inversely proportional to the tangent of the angle of bank. If the angle of bank and angle of attack are increased in an attempt to increase the centripetal force (and thereby reduce the radius of the turn) the aircraft will stall.. 1 I I I • Many light aircraft do not .- radius of turn increases 1 theory I --- again. 11-10 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . the speed-at least in theory-also needs to be as high as possible. the CPF must be increased and. There is an apparent contradiction here. at a greater radius than it is possible to achieve at the VA speed.

Practical Application The maximum rate/minimum-radius turn involves flying at the angle of attack for CLmax which incurs a large increase in drag (mostly induced drag) particularly if the airspeed is high. In most light aircraft. this means opening the throttle fully. full power will eventually be needed to offset the increase in drag at the given speed. resulting in a lower rate of turn. care must be taken not to exceed the maximum 'g' permitted). Hence. is counterproductive in a sustained max-rate/min- radius turn although it is accepted that a temporary advantage will be gained for a short period as the flap lowers. If the speed falls off in spite of full power. the greater the excess of power available. In a level turn at a given lAS. and altitude is not a problem. to execute a max rate/min radius turn. we need to have the highest speed and the smallest radius. Effect of Power It can be seen from the foregoing paragraphs that turning performance (like the climb) is ultimately dependent on the excess of power available over power required for level flight.NOTE: Design manoeuvring speed VA is explained in more detail later in this chapter. it will be necessary to reduce the angle of bank while staying on the verge of the stall. until the angle of bank is found where the aircraft can maintain height at a stabilized speed. It can therefore be seen that the requirements for a maximum-rate turn are essentially the same as for a minimum-radius turn. Above VA. it is essential that the maximum allowable power/thrust is used. Hence. Maximimum Rate Rate of turn is given by speed over radius (VIr). Thus the use of flap. (If the speed is above VA. it is possible to sustain the turn performance by trading altitude for speed during the turn. To counter the drag. Principles of Flight Turning 11-11 . with the highest speed and angle of bank which can be sustained. As power becomes the limiting factor in this manoeuvre. the greater the bank angle and the better the turning performance which can be obtained. even optimum flap. If this is done. the load factor and angle of bank must be restricted. the drag is increased by comparison with the same speed in straight and level flight. There is thus a requirement to increase the power/thrust if the same speed is to be maintained in the turn. it follows that anything which increases the drag or reduces the lift/drag ratio. care must be taken to keep the bank angle and the rate of descent under control. must degrade the effectiveness of the excess power being applied to the manoeuvre. Thus. the aircraft is rolled to the steepest possible angle of bank as full power is applied and back pressure increased to bring the wings to CLmax or just below-normally just to the onset of pre-stall buffet. The aircraft must be flown on the verge of the stall. the angle of bank and load factor are naturally restricted by the stall boundary. If the increase in angle of bank and load factor is continued. and the maximum rate of turn which can be achieved reduces in concert with reducing speed. for maximum rate in the turn. If the available power is not sufficient to maintain the required manoeuvre speed. practical considerations mean that the best speed for a maximum-rate turn is VA. Below VA. Once again.

If the angle of bank is maintained. the centripetal force (CPF) must be adjusted to allow for the differences in groundspeed as the aircraft flies around the turn. as the aircraft and the airmass drift downwind from the reference point. However. the llightpath is no longer circular with reference to the ground.e. Fig. This means that the higher the groundspeed the higher the CPF (and angle of bank) required. and decrease between D and A. For the aircraft depicted in Fig. but not assist at A. since the effect of the wind at Cis to assist the turn. and vice-versa. the radius of turn in the airmass will also be constant i. / / I I constant bank angle flightpath in wind I \ \ flightpath in the airmass \. ' . Hence. From chapter I 0. 11-13. This means that the angle of bank will need to increase between B and C. Light training aircraft generally have a relatively low excess of power available over power required. and • flap and undercarriage extension. If a wind is blowing. Therefore the angle of bank needs to be least at B and greatest at D to provide a constant ground-radius tum. the angle of bank at C needs to be smaller than at A. 11-13). The Effect of Wind For an aircraft turning at constant angle of bank and airspeed. becoming greatest where the groundspeed is highest (aircraft headed directly downwind) and smallest where the ground speed is lowest (headed directly upwind). and highest at D. Ground track for a constant-bank-angle turn in a wind. anything which reduces or 'eats into' this excess of power available will be significant in the effect it has on reducing the ability of the aircraft to turn. To maintain a constant-radius turn around a ground feature. we saw that excess power was reduced by: • increased weight. 11-12 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . • increased altitude. These same factors will therefore reduce the turning performance of an aircraft. 11·14. the ground radius of the tum will change. the llightpath will be circular. the groundspeed will be least at position B. (Fig.

A constant radius turn around a ground feature. a climbing turn requires a tilted lift vector and increased lift to provide the centripetal force needed to turn. the reduction in rate of climb in the turn is proportional to the angle of bank used. Principles of Flight Turning 11-13 . If that same speed is maintained. With less excess power available for the climb. At high altitudes. A Climbing Turns Rate of Climb As for the level turn. the ability of an aircraft to climb and to turn at the same time depends on the amount of excess power available at the climbing speed. 11-15. some of the excess power being used in the 'straight ahead climb'. once the desired angle of bank has been established in a climbing turn.e. The nose attitude required to maintain the climb speed will also be lower than in the straight climb. but the outer wing travels on a wider arc and therefore through a greater horizontal distance. This is caused by the outer wing in the turn having a higher effective angle of attack than the inner wing. Eventually an angle of bank will be reached where all of the excess power is being absorbed by the turn-the rate of climb will then be reduced to zero and the aircraft will be turning in level flight. to overbank. There is an increase in drag as well as lift. where the excess power available for the straight climb is reduced. the capability of the aircraft to turn and maintain any appreciable rate of climb may be poor. To offset this increase in drag and maintain the climbing speed. the rate of climb is reduced. it will be necessa1y to hold a steady aileron pressure in the opposite direction from the turn-or to 'hold off bank' as it is called-to prevent the bank angle frorn increasing beyond the desired angle. Hence. is absorbed by the turn. The tendency to overbank in a climbing turn can be quite pronounced in some light aircraft. With these aircraft. Tendency to Overbank Once established in a climbing turn. c CPF Fig 11-14. Both wings travel through the same vertical distance in the climb. there is a tendency for the aircraft to continue rolling into the turn-i. This results in the difference in angle of attack as shown in Fig.

If the speed for the straight descent is maintained in the turn. if the turn is steep. the rate of descent will increase. the rate of descent can increase relatively quickly and will require a large increase of power and possibly also a smart reduction in angle of bank to keep it in check. steep descending turns near the ground should be avoided. " " '\ " \ "'\ I\ l I I / / / ~~~~~. / / / / / / 7 z I I \ \ Descending Turns Rate of Descent In a descending turn... 11-16. drag increases with bank angle for the same reason as in level and climbing turns. Tendency to Underbank "" "" Fig. However. The tendency to underbank in a descending turn. The tendency to overbank I in a climbing turn..--/ loss in angles exaggerated for altitude purposes of explanation horizontal distance travelled 11-14 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . 11-15.. For this reason.. gain in altitude horizontal distance travelled angles exaggerated for purposes of explanation \ I Fig. This can be compensated for by increasing power.

T --+L L~ D W+ \~ L )fw ~~net D 2'g') 3'g' finish start A w Principles of Flight Turning 11-15 . It is instructive to consider the forces acting in a perfectly circular loop at constant speed-although. In a descending turn. in practice.e. the angle between the weight and the centripetal force (lift) are constantly changing-with weight acting in the opposite direction to lift at the bottom of the loop. Fig. To follow any circular path. this tendency to roll out of the turn as a result may be more pronounced in some light aircraft than it is in others. by 'holding on' aileron.e. Again. In a loop however. The forces acting c in a loop. a constant steady acceleration must be provided toward the centre of the circle. it can be easily countered by holding sufficient aileron pressure into the turn-i. i. where the weight of the aircraft acts consistently at right angles to the centripetal force provided by the horizontal component of lift. I 1-16. If it is evident. there is a tendency for the aircraft to roll out of the turn. In this case. it is the inner wing which has the higher angle of attack. It is possible for an aircraft to follow a curved path in the vertical plane-in what is called a looping manoeuvre. and in the same direction when the aircraft is inverted at the top. and which therefore generates more lift. we have covered the forces acting in a turn. whether a turn or a loop. as shown in Fig. with the aircraft following a curved or circular path in the horizontal plane. Manoeuvring in the Vertical Plane So far. it is a difficult manoeuvre to achieve. This is not particularly difficult in a turn. The reason is similar to that which applies to the overbanking tendency in a climbing turn but the effect of the outer wing travelling through a greater horizontal distance is reversed. 11-17.

there must be a large increase in thrust so that by the time position B is reached. At the start of the loop. since weight now acts in the same direction as lift. This relationship becomes important when recovery from a dive is considered- particularly if it is at low altitude. the aircraft is inverted and. However.e. even with the throttle closed. We have chosen a constant net acceleration toward the centre of 2'g'. when the aircraft is vertical. and • a high load factor and a lot of altitude will be required to affect the recovery. If speed is to be maintained on the way up in the manoeuvre. 11-18. where there is insufficient excess power available to prevent a large reduction in speed over the first half of the loop and. 11-17. 11-18. by the time position D is reached. even with the throttle closed and extra drag devices deployed (e. pilot can do to prevent increasing its speed. the speed. To keep the loop circular at least. 2'g' 2'g' For the majority of light aircraft. At the top (C). 11-16 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . must be 3'g' (2'g' net after overcoming the weight). load 140 kts ' 4'g' factor. It is worth noting that at position C. a large increase in 80 kts load factor (lift) will be required particularly over this last 90° of the manoeuvre. To achieve this. The radius of a looping manoeuvre is proportional to V2/'g' (TAS/Ioad factor). the lift acts at right angles to the weight and the wings must produce only the required acceleration of 2'g'. a rapid increase in speed is inevitable even with the throttle closed.g. Do not indulge in diving manoeuvres at low altitude. In this case. the acceleration from the wing is reduced to a load factor of 1'g'-i. the requirement for thrust reduces so that once again it balances the drag. (Few aircraft have this amount of excess thrust available). the pilot would feel a 1'g' force from the seat as if he or she were flying straight and level. • At the top of the loop (C). airbrakes). the lift plus the weight provide the required acceleration of 2'g'. T=D as in straight and level flight. there is a need to reduce thrust since weight and thrust begin to act more and more in the same direction. The forces acting at each 90° position of a constant-speed circular loop are shown in Fig. it is sufficient to balance both the weight and the drag. From the inverted position at the top of the loop. The difficulty in flying a constant-speed loop can be appreciated if the thrust and drag forces are now considered. weight is likely to exceed drag by a significant margin and there will be nothing the 1•9 . and the radius of the loop will be greatest at the bottom of the loop and smallest at the top of the manoeuvre. A dive recovery can be equated with the last quarter of the loop described in the foregoing and it is important to realise that: • once a steep nose-down attitude is adopted. • the radius of the manoeuvre increases with the square of the airspeed. • The load factor at the start of the loop (point A). • At B and D. 140 kts in speed on the way down. a large gain Fig. the path followed by a loop in practice would look something like that depicted in Fig.

VA is discussed more fully in following paragraphs.. The white arc is between VSO and VFE and denotes the flap operating speed range.. 11-19. ~e · orrnat operating "'""' Fig. power off. VFE-Maximum speed-flaps extended. VNO-Maximum structural cruising speed for normal operations. maximum speed. Fig. landing gear up* maximum structural flops up. power off. landing gear down. Do not exceed in any circumstances. flaps lowered. in modern light aircraft. VSI-Stalling speed undercarriage and flaps up. The green arc extends between VS I and VNO and denotes the normal- operating speed range. All operations in this range should be safe in all normal flying conditions. The flaps must not be lowered or the aircraft flown with flaps down when the speed is above this range. Speed Limitations Speed limitations are stated in the form of a V code and. power off.Manoeuvring Limitations All aircraft have speed and load factor ('g') limitations placed upon them to prevent structural damage or failure due to excessive aerodynamic loads. 11-19 gives an example of such markings. VNE-The never. VNE never-exceed speed (maximum speed for an operations) vso stalling speed. The aircraft should be operated in this range only in smooth air conditions. flaps lowered. Airspeed limitation markings VFE on a modern AS/. The yellow arc extends from VNO to VNE and denotes the caution range. the appropriate speeds are marked with coloured lines or arcs on the AS!. VA-Design manoeuvring speed. flaps extended Principles of Flight Turning 11-17 . These limitations are set out in the Pilot's Operating Manual for the aircraft type. The V code which applies to a light single-engined aircraft is: VSO-Stalling speed undercarriage down. VS1 stalling speed. (Varies with weight.exceed speed. power oft cruising speed *(If retractable) (for normal operations) 9r~ ~. and not usually marked on the AS!).

B . when the aircraft is being operated near any of the limits-and particularly at high speed-unexpected turbulence can easily impose loads which result in overstressing and possible airframe damage. and about minus 1·5 'g'. An example of a V-n diagram is given in Fig.Full deflection and harsh use of controls should be progressively avoided. Such a diagram gives a graphical representation of the aircraft's manoeuvre envelope and the speed and load factor limitations can be more easily related and better understood. Some aircraft may be capable of being operated in a 'utility' categ01y where. 11-20 below. The V-n (or V-g) Diagram Some aircraft have their speed and load factor limitations set out in what is called a V-n (or V-'g') diagram. 11-20. • The upper and lower curves represent the positive and negative stall respectively. With flaps extended. Flight within the envelope (between the curves) below VS 1 will only be possible for a short duration and at low load factors- basically only for a short while during some aerobatic manoeuvres. Great care must be taken to see that the speed and load factor ('g') limitations are not exceeded. +5 I FLAPS UP I +4 +3 I<@-. For most light aircraft with the flaps raised. the positive 'g' limits may be raised slightly. A.Caution range -operation only in smooth air conditions. Flight in the area to the left of these curves is not possible as the wing will be stalled. the positive 'g' limit will normally be reduced to about +2·0. A V-n diagram. 11-18 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series . the positive 'g' limit will be typically in the order of +3·5 to +4·0 'g'. flaps up. NOTES: • A V-n diagram will be valid for one aircraft weight and configuration e. Load Factor Limitations Load factor (or 'g') limitations are also set out in the Pilot's Operating Manual for the aircraft type. with further limitations placed on operating weight and CG position.A positive stall I I load I I ' l<r-B factor +2 design I (n) manoeuvring I or speed VIm ('g') +1 VA I I I 0 -1 negative stall -2 Fig. Although most limitations have a safety factor (or buffer) included.g.

This may appear at first sight to be the wrong way around. at 60' bank the load factor will be 2. the angle of bank indication on the AI can be used to give an indirect indication of load factor being applied in a level turn.• The design manoeuvre speed (VA) occurs where the positive stall curve and the maximum positive 'g' line intersect. In a sense. VA is significant. Principles of Flight Turning 11-19 . A competent pilot should be able to remember these Fig. In this case the negative limits given in the Pilot's Operating Handbook apply to the negative loadings which could be encountered in severe turbulence. ures and be able to extrapolate if necessa'Y to determine the VA with reasonable accuracy at any time during flight. At high weights the stalling speed is increased-hence the speed at which the aircraft will stall with the maximum 'g' factor applied is increased by comparison with the stall speed at low weight and the same 'g' factor. (Remember. there will be an increasing risk of structural damage and possible failure. The Pilots Operating Handbook will normally give the VA but it will not normally be marked on the AS!. Further Notes on VA The design manoeuvre speed (VA) varies depending on weight. the aircraft is better protected from overstress at the higher weights. at just over 70' it will be 3). and it is the 'reduce-to' speed if significant turbulence is encountered. because until it reaches that higher VA. Also of importance to structural safety. inverted flight may not be permitted. the reason should be clear. he will be able manoeuvre the aircraft right up to the pre-stall buffet at any speed below VA and be confident that the aircraft is not being overstressed. As explained earlier in this chapter. If the pilot knows the VA which applies at the time. • If the aircraft is flown in the area above/below and to the right of the envelope. Although not usually marked on the AS!. it is the speed above which full and rapid movement of the controls should be progressively reduced. • In some aircraft with negative 'g' limits. but if it is remembered that VA occurs in the V-n diagram at the junction of the positive stall and the maximum load factor or 'g' line. It occurs at a higher speed at high weight than it does at low weight. It is the speed above which it is possible to 'overload' and overstress the aircraft and it is therefore the speed in practice at which the best rate and smallest radius of turn can be achieved. Most light aircraft are not fitted with an accelerometer (or 'g' meter). it will stall before the maximum load factor can be applied. For some aircraft the VA may be stated for different weights.

.. The increase of drag means that in a level turn. 7... 5.... 6. the smallest radius/maximum rate of turn is obtained at the .. At any given airspeed........ 14..... 3..... the greater the .. Review 11 I.. 9...... In a constant radius turn around a ground object............•. I 0... force.. The relationship is-stall speed in the turn ~ basic stall speed x -J .. the radius of turn (increases/decreases) as bank angle increases. Two aircraft have the same angle of bank and lAS in a level turn. 2. State the angle of bank needed to achieve a rate I turn if the aircraft is flying at 130 kt........... is increased to counteract it............. An aircraft turning with a given lAS and angle of bank will have a (larger/ smaller) radius and a (higher/lower) rate of turn at higher altitude.. but one is at higher weight than the other.... 16.... what happens to the rate of climb? 11-20 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series .. 15. the lift must be increased so that its vertical component balances the ... The horizontal component of lift which holds the aircraft in the turn is called ....... In a 30° banked level turn... In a 60° banked level turn the load factor is .... and the pilot will feel 15% heavier....... 'g'.. The rate of climb will (reduce/stay the same/increase)...... If all of the excess power is absorbed by the turn at a high angle of bank.... and the pilot will feel .. ...•••••••.. What is the difference between their rate and radius of turn.........•. The stalling speed (increases/decreases) in a turn... The increased angle of attack in a turn not only means that lift is increased........... the highest angle of bank will be required when the aircraft is flying (directly downwind/crosswind/ directly into wind). 4. being generated by the wings divided by aircraft .... 12. 8...•............... the load factor is .•... A climbing turn is entered from the straight climb at the same airspeed and power setting.••••••. speed (VA)........ 13......... When an aircraft is turned in level flight.. required from the wings. but also ............ ..... Load factor is the .... there will be a loss in speed unless ....•... State the formula used for measuring centripetal force..... In practice. ....... The steeper the bank angle in a turn.... II...........

............. range............. the aircraft 'g' limits are (likely/unlikely) to be exceeded....... the inner wing has a . If flown to the pre-stall buffet above VA.......... air conditions...... 21.for all operations... If the aircraft is descending and a turn is entered with power and speed remaining constant..... The aircraft should be operated in this range only in .................. ............. three coloured arcs and a red line are marked..... the aircraft 'g' limits (will/will not) be exceeded. 20............ angle of attack and the aircraft will therefore tend to (roll into/roll out of) the turn.......... speed range....... Principles of Flight Turning 11-21 ......17......... VA occurs at a (higher/lower) speed as aircraft weight decreases.. 18... 19. In a descending turn. (d) the red line denotes the ....................... (b) the green arc denotes the . An aircraft tends to (roll into/roll out of) a climbing turn.. If an aircraft is flown to the pre-stall buffet below the design manoeuvring speed VA. . speed range........ On a modern light aircraft AS!. 22.................. (c) the yellow arc denotes the ................. Their significance is: (a) the white arc denotes the ... the rate of descent will (increase/decrease/remain the same)...............

11-22 Turning The Commercial Pilot Series .

12-1 ). Terminology Consider one section across a propeller blade at some distance from the hub or the centreline of rotation (Fig. we discuss the basic principles as they apply to the fixed-pitch propeller. the acceleration of the airflow over the fmward cambered surface causes a reduced static pressure ahead of the blade. and then we cover the operation of constant speed (i. Basic Principles Since it is an aerofoil. At the same time. varies from a large angle at the blade root near the hub. The angle which the chord line makes with the plane of rotation is called the propeller blade angle. The cambered (lifting) side of the blade is called the blade back and the flatter side the blade face. Propeller terminology. a trailing edge and a chord line just like any other aerofoil.12-1. In this chapter. One of the results of these changes in pressure around the blade is that a fmward thrust force is generated which pulls the aircraft along. There are two basic types of propeller. both with similar aerodynamics-fixed-pitch and variable- pitch (which uses a constant-speed unit). DIRECTION OF FLIGHT Fig. variable pitch) propellers. the flow is retarded by the blade face resulting in an increased static pressure. In normal operation. when the blade has an angle of attack with the oncoming airflow. The blade section is a cambered aero foil shape and it has a leading edge. Note: • For convenience. gradually decreasing to a much smaller angle at the propeller tip. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-1 . the chord line is normally taken to be the blade face. Propellers Introduction A piston engine requires a propeller to convert the power output (engine torque) of the engine into a useful straight-line force called thrust. • The blade angle.e. as we shall soon see. the propeller blade generates an aerodynamic force in the same manner as any other aerofoil being moved through the air. The actual chord line will depend on the cross-sectional shape of the blade. when the propeller blade is rotated.

l2-3. Note that the angle of attack plus the helix angle (pitch angle) make up the blade angle. The airflow across a blade 1200 RPM 2400 RPM section depends on propeller rpm and the radius of the section. The magnitude of this forward reaction force is dependent on the mass of the air and the acceleration it is given toward the rear. This rearward acceleration of the mass of air in the slipstream produces a forward reaction force on the blades in accordance with Newton's Third Law.12-2. is the rotational component of velocity-the further each blade section is from the propeller shaft. And. the faster will be the flow across any given blade section. Factors Affecting Airflow Across the Blade Sections Consider again just one of the propeller sections. the higher the rpm. The development of thrust can also be considered in terms of the rearward movement of a mass of air. Fig. this would result in the outer sections being operated at an angle of attack greater than the stalling angle. and the lower the effectiveness of the propeller. Hence. When the aircraft is in flight. The speed of the flow across that section will depend on its radius of rotation. however. Once the aircraft begins to move forward. Under most conditions. the lower the air density the less the mass of air which is accelerated rearward. each propeller blade section follows a 'corkscrew' path through the air called a helix. the radius of the section and the speed of rotation. What differs. a resultant velocity vector for a given blade section through the air can be obtained. the first two factors affecting the flow across a given section are. When this forward motion is combined with the rotational motion of the propeller. For a fixed-pitch propeller rotating at a given rpm. each propeller blade section has the same forward velocity component. The angle between the chord line of the blade section and the relative airflow is its angle of attack. the faster it is moving. If the aircraft is stationary with the propeller rotating. The relative airflow of each blade section is directly opposite to its own particular helical path through the air. 12-2 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . The angle between this resultant velocity vector and the plane of rotation of the propeller blade is called the helix angle or the pitch angle or the angle of advance. If the blade angle was the same along the whole length of the propeller then the angle of attack would continuously increase toward the tips. The changes in pressure around the rotating blades causes air to be drawn into the propeller disc (the circular area swept out by the blades) and accelerated in a roughly cylindrical area toward the rear (the slipstream). the direction of the airflow approaching the blade section will be in the plane of rotation and opposite to the direction of rotation. Those sections further out from the centre of rotation will experience a faster flow than those closer in. as shown in Fig. the airflow approaching the propeller section will also develop a component opposite to the direction of that motion. helix angle = pitch angle = angle of advance As a result of this combined rotational and forward velocity.

and the other parallel to the relative airflow---drag... A B section i1' 8 i relative represents a propeller section near the middle of rotational ! airflbw the blade. Each propeller section follows its own helical path. all propeller blades must rotational relative have a 'twist'-or reduction in blade angle from hub Airflow velocity to tip-built into them. we resolve this total reaction into two components. Fig. Forces Acting on a Blade Section When an airflow is established around an aerofoil. the higher rotational velocity toward the tip i' '' '!:: ___________ _ sections reduces the pitch angle and thus. the blade angle must be forward velocity progressively reduced toward the tip. then it exaggerated for purposes of must be designed to have the most efficient angle demonstration of attack along its whole length. To achieve this. ' Fig. at that airspeed A A section and rpm.. the consequent pressure changes generate an aerodynamic force on the aerofoil. to maintain the required efficient angle of attack along A and B same! the length of the blade. In the case of a wing. 12-4. 12-3. B one near the tip. __ velocity in direction of flight Each blade section has an angle of attack at which it is most efficient in generating thrust. To enable the propeller as a whole to operate efficiently at a blade angles given airspeed and engine (propeller) rpm.. Although both velocity ! sections travel the same distance forward in given ' time. This is known as blade twist or helical twist. one perpendicular to the relative airflow-lift.. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-3 . 12-4 demonstrates the need for blade twist. helix ~ lJ ~\ (pitch) . ' L_ ___ ./"1 '-'--angle of attack angle : helical (corkscrew) path ' 1 relative airflow of one blade tip '' '' resultant velocity velocity in : of the propeller the planet of rotation 1 blade section '' Fig.

The forces acting perpendicular to the plane of propeller rotation to be the on a propeller blade. with a larger blade angle) will be more suitable. Hence.g. For the propeller however. For our purposes. 12-5. we can generally assume the direction Fig. about 75% of the blade radius where. as we will see shortly. for a given rpm. Hence. there will only be one forward velocity (true airspeed) at which the fixed-pitch propeller will operate at its most efficient angle of attack. 12-4 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . Opening the throttle increases engine power and engine torque. the relative airflow is changed and. because of the higher forward speed. Be aware that maximum rpm may be exceeded and power should be reduced as necessary to prevent this from happening. the angle of attack of the blade will be so reduced that little or no thrust will be produced. For an aircraft designed to lift heavy loads off short runways and to operate at fairly low airspeeds-e. At some high airspeed . and therefore. For a wing. 12-6. and where we are mainly concerned with generating thrust and not lift. the angle of attack of a fixed-pitch propeller blade at constant rpm will decrease. the propeller torque must be overcome or balanced by the engine torque for the propeller to provide thrust. As airspeed increases. NOTE: If an aircraft with a fixed-pitch propeller is put into a dive. same as the direction of flight. if the propeller rpm is constant. a coarser pitch propeller (i.e. drag must be overcome to provide lift. it is no longer appropriate to talk in terms of lift and drag. The RPM/Airspeed Relationship Consider again one section of a well-designed fixed-pitch propeller blade-at say. and • one component in the plane of rotation called the propeller torque force. The propeller torque is the resistance to motion in the plane of rotation. then the direction of the relative airflow and the angle of attack will be determined by the forward velocity. As illustrated at Fig. where the relative airflow differs for each blade section. Propeller torque is reduced and engine rpm will increase even though the throttle may not have been moved. for agricultural work-a fine-pitch propeller (with a small blade angle) is most suitable. For a propeller. for the thrust to be considered as acting in the direction of flight. causing the propeller to rotate faster-until propeller torque builds up to the point where it comes into balance with engine torque and rpm stabilizes. The designer chooses a fixed-pitch propeller which has a best-efficiency airspeed/ rpm combination which matches the tasks for which the aircraft is designed. it is more convenient to resolve the total reaction force into: • one component perpendicular to the plane of rotation called thrust. the thrust is produced most effectively. For an aircraft designed to cruise long distances at reasonably high speeds. the angle of attack is reduced over all propeller blade sections.

of necessity. 12-7.:angle of attack at low rpm at high forward velocity low angle of attack low angle of attack rpm ~ same rpm relative airflow high rpm low forward velocity same forward velocity Fig. propeller torque TR thrust thrust relative airflow direction of rotation of rotation inner section outer section large blade angle smaller blade angle Principles of Flight Propellers 12-5 . it usually refers to the 75% station for this reason-station meaning position on the blade. Near the hub. the propeller sections must be thick for structural strength. propeller torque TR Fig. which may interfere with effective aerodynamic design. they must have a relatively high blade angle. less of the TR is resolved in the forward direction as thrust. and with rpm. Effective Blade Sections The most effective sections of the propeller blade in producing thrust are those which lie between 60 and 90% of the radius. 12-6. There is also the interference to the airflow from the engine and associated structures. Apart from this. different forward velocity same forward velocity same rpm different rpm -8t-!QW forward velOCity high'&~gle of attack ·~thigh rpm high. This effectively tilts the local aerodynamic total reaction (TR) more toward the plane of rotation as shown in Fig. The greatest useful thmst is produced at approximately 75% of the blade radius. Fixed-pitch propeller: angle of attack varies with forward velocity. 12-7. this means that for these blade sections. In turn. the main reason for the inner propeller sections being less effective is that. When the blade angle of a propeller is quoted.

These increase the aerodynamic 'drag' and reduce the 'lift'. In normal operating conditions. 12-8. hence thrust (horse)power in the above equation can be expressed as thrust x TAS. of course. as shown in Fig. because: • Vortices are formed at the propeller tips for the same reason as wing-tip vortices are formed. Propeller efficiency is defined as the ratio of thrust horsepower (what the propeller produces) to brake horsepower (what is delivered to the propeller by the engine): thrust horsepower propeller efficiency= % brake horsepower Power is force x distance over time. and propeller efficiency can also be written as: thrust x TAS propeller efficiency = ~~~­ brake power (where brake power is the output of the engine. with a consequent reduction in thrust and an increase in torque in the region of the tips. the efficiency of the propeller will typically vary between 50 and 85o/o. tilts the TR rearward and acts to increase the torque/reduce the thrust produced in the area of the tip. again. There are losses involved in imparting motion (both translational and rotary) to the slipstream. measured at the propeller shaft) From the second of the above equations. toward the tips. 100% coarse pitch efficiency I for constant rpm I Fig. the normal range of operation of a propeller falls within these two extremes. 12-8 shows typical curves of efficiency versus TAS for two different fixed-pitch propellers-one of fine pitch (small blade angles) and the other of coarse pitch (large blade angles). At tip speeds approaching the local speed of sound. the propeller blades become less effective. there is a significant increase in aerodynamic drag which. resulting in a tilting back of the TR. a propeller will convert not more than about 90o/o of the brake horsepower delivered at the propeller shaft to useful thrust. • The propeller tip is the fastest travelling part of the aircraft since it has the highest rotational velocity compounded with the aircraft forward speed. with their smaller blade angle. In practice. note that propeller efficiency is zero under two conditions-(!) when aircraft has no forward speed (zero TAS) and (2) when there is no thrust produced. Under ideal conditions. Propeller efficiency curves. Again. aircraft speed (TAS) 12-6 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . Propeller Performance Propellers are unable to convert all of the power developed by the engine into useful thrust. Fig. the TR of the outer sections is tilted further forward resulting in a greater proportion of the TR being resolved as thrust. However. and in the aerodynamic drag on the propeller. 12-7.

• Once maximum efficiency is attained. This difference is usually expressed as a percentage of the experimental mean pitch. with a consequent reduction in thrust. The amount of slip present is an indication of propeller efficiency. it advances the same distance as its pitch (or distance between between the threads). Propeller slip. no useful work is done and the propeller is. If an ordinary screw is turned through one revolution in a solid medium. This is because the angle of attack of the blades is being reduced to below the optimum. by definition. • Given that each of the curves is for a constant rpm. but only in a dive. advance at experimental :' SLIP mean pitch Principles of Flight Propellers 12-7 . At this speed. The difference between this distance and the actual distance moved forward. Slip The distance which the propeller would theoretically move forward (or advance) in one revolution when it is giving no thrust is called the experimental mean pitch. This is a low airspeed in the case of the fine-pitch propeller and a high airspeed in the case of the coarse-pitch propeller. Although a high value of thrust can be developed when the aircraft is stationary. some of the air 'slips' backwards and the distance that it advances is less than its mean pitch. 12-9. inefficient until the aircraft begins to move and gains speed as a result. efficiency is zero when the aircraft has no forward speed as has been previously explained. Experiments have shown that maximum propeller efficiency is obtained when the slip is about 30%. any further increase in airspeed results in a relatively rapid decline in efficiency. It is possible. when a propeller is turned in it. is called slip. A propeller can be imagined as a type of screw-in fact. to reach a speed where the blade angle of attack is reduced to the zero-thrust angle (which occurs just before the 'zero-lift' angle for the propeller aerofoil section). Notes: • For both propellers. Slip is shown diagrammatically in Fig. relative airflow at experimental mean pitch distance (zero-thrust angle of attack) moved in plane of rotation Fig. no thrust is produced and efficiency is again reduced to zero. 12-9. As air is not a solid medium. When it is producing thrust however. the peak of efficiency for a fixed-pitch propeller is reached at one airspeed. a propeller cannot advance the same distance as its 'pitch'. it was once commonly called an 'airscrew'.

This propeller was able to operate within two ranges of efficiency similar to those shown by the curves in Fig. but within each range. and a coarse pitch setting for higher airspeeds. Geometric Pitch direction of TR at zero thrust angle Geometric Pitch is the distance of advance at zero degrees angle of attack. Subsequently. This type of propeller has a blade angle which automatically adjusts to any position between two in-flight limits at the fine and coarse ends of its range. It is a fixed quantity determined by the construction of the propeller and not by its performance. By varying the pitch of the blades in this way. 12-11. Note the difference between / relative airflow d at experimental mean pitch geometric pitch and distance (zero-thrust angle of attack) experimental mean pitch as moved in plane of shown in Fig. a constant-speed propeller can be operated at peak efficiency over a wide range of airspeeds. is produced. it operated basically as a fixed-pitch propeller. no thrust Fig. 12-8 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . Geometric rotation pitch is measured from the chord line and reflects the blade angle of a given section. Experimental mean pitch will geometric pitch occur when the blade sections have a small negative angle of experimental mean pitch attack-where the TR becomes aligned with the propeller torque and. therefore. the modern-day constant-speed propeller was developed. 100% peak efficiency 'envelope' fine coarse pitch A A pitch limit limit efficiency for constant rpm aircraft speed (TAS) Fig. the constant-speed propeller can be operated at optimum efficiency over a much wider range of speeds than a fixed-pitch propeller. 12-1 0.12-10. In normal operation. Between its fine and coarse pitch limits. 12-8. an early development in propeller technology was the two-pitch propeller-with a fine pitch setting for take-off and low speed operation. the pitch of the blades is determined by a mechanism called the constant speed unit (CSU) which governs the propeller speed at an rpm set by the pilot. Geometric and experimental pitch. Because of this limitation. Constant Speed Propellers A fixed-pitch propeller operates at optimum efficiency only under one set of rpm and airspeed conditions.

in level flight-an increase in speed or. the propeller will produce more thrust and there will be a gain in performance-for example. Twin engine. Moving the throttle alters the amount of power which will be delivered to the propeller at the selected rpm. engine torque will increase. the throttle is opened (MP increased). with a constant-speed propeller there are two controls: • The propeller control (usually called the pitch control) which controls propeller rpm. therefore. the propeller will produce less thrust. the pilot has only the throttle to control both engine power and propeller rpm. Single engine. Moving the pitch control alters the rpm at which the propeller will be governed. At this higher angle of attack. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-9 . the power developed by the engine. Throttle. Fig. • The throttle to control manifold pressure (MP) and. Quadrant controls. Similarly. The selected rpm will be maintained because the increase in engine power has been absorbed by the increased angle of attack of the blades. propeller (pitch) and mixture. Typical control arrangements. Changes in Throttle Setting If. in a climb-an increased rate of climb. the CSU will decrease the blade angle (fine the pitch) so that the selected rpm is maintained. but as soon as the CSU senses this it will increase the blade angle (coarsen the pitch) so that propeller torque is increased to match the increase in engine torque. With the decreased angle of attack of the blades. As a result. if the throttle is closed.Whereas with a fixed-pitch propeller. The Constant Speed Unit The constant speed unit (CSU)-sometimes called a propeller control unit (PCU) -contains a governor which controls the rpm to that selected by the pilot. Controlling the power delivered by the engine and the thrust from the propeller is thus a matter of selecting certain combinations of propeller rpm and manifold pressure. at a given rpm setting. the rpm will want to increase. It does this by adjusting the pitch angle of the blades so that propeller torque remains matched (equal and opposite) to engine torque regardless of changes to airspeed and/or throttle setting. 12-12.

Thereafter. Similarly. provided they are operated within the range of in-flight rpm/MP settings recommended in the Pilot's Operating Handbook. otherwise before the first flight of the day. The CSU responds by changing the propeller blade angle so that propeller torque remains matched with engine torque at the rpm selected by the pilot. This is achieved by running the engine up to the rpm specified by the manufacturer (normally about 1800 . When changes to power and/or airspeed occur. the direction of the relative airflow is affected. they will remain working at or close to their best angle of attack and thus with optimum efficiency for the conditions. 12-13. If this is not done. As a part of the pre-flight checks. if airspeed is increased by placing the aircraft in a dive without adjusting the throttle. within certain limits. the propeller will act as a fixed-pitch propeller. the CSU is normally 'exercised' before each flight on cold days. cold and viscous oil may result in sluggish operation of the unit and the CSU may not be able to control rpm properly on the take-off and climb-out. The object of exercising the CSU in this manner is to enable warm oil to circulate through the hydraulic pitch changing mechanism. 12-10 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . the blade angle will fine off until it reaches what is known as the fine-pitch stop.2000 rpm) and then cycling the pitch control slowly from FULL FINE to COARSE and back again two or three times. If engine power is reduced to a low setting. The design of constant-speed propellers is such that. propeller torque Fig. but as soon as the CSU senses this. the CSU will once again take over and begin to govern the rpm at that figure. Operation of Constant Speed Propellers Constant-speed propellers are normally operated on the ground with the pitch control in the FULL FINE position. it will fine off the pitch to keep the propeller torque matched to engine torque thereby maintaining the selected rpm. propeller torque will increase (because the propeller blades have a higher angle of attack at the lower airspeed). Changes in Airspeed If the airspeed is reduced by placing the aircraft in a climb without adjusting the throttle. If the throttle is opened and the rpm rise to the figure previously selected with the pitch control. As a result. The rpm should decrease (normally not more than 500) and increase again in concert with the movement of the pitch control. the rpm will want to drop. the CSU automatically coarsens the pitch so that the selected rpm will be maintained. The CSU can only govern propeller rpm in the manner just described. with the rpm being controlled at low power settings by the throttle.

can lead to high cylinder head temperatures and detonation. As altitude is changed with an unsupercharged engine. so will MP at the rate of about I" Hg per I 000 ft. At worst. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-11 . This extra drag from a windmilling engine can be substantial. The reversed thrust component (windmilling drag) also now acts in the same direction as aircraft drag. Changing Power Settings To increase power (if it is desired to operate at higher rpm): • first increase rpm with the pitch control. even though no power is being produced. A point is soon reached where the relative airflow approaches the blade at a 'negative' angle of attack which is large enough to produce a TR in the reverse direction to normal-refer to Fig. to provide aerodynamic braking dUling the landing run. 12-14. Wind milling If there is a loss of engine torque to the propeller. closed in a descent). • The ability to be placed in ground-fine pitch or reverse pitch. Operation at a higher MP than that recommended for the rpm selected. If this is not done and an attempt is made to take off with the pitch control in a coarse position. operate the engine within the range of rprn/MP settings recommended in the Pilot's Operating Handbook. the aircraft may simply not become airborne in the distance available! At all times. To decrease power (if it is desired to operate at lower rpm): • first reduce MP with the throttle. with some constant-speed propellers the advantages of being able to va1y the pitch are extended to: • The ability to be feathered in flight to avoid 'windmilling' drag and the possibility of further damaging an engine which has failed.e. At best.As part of the pre take-off checks. Other Modes of Operation In addition to providing more efficient operation over a wide range of airspeeds and engine power. 'windmill') the engine. • then reduce rpm with the pitch control. The selected rpm should remain constant. and is roughly equivalent to a flat disc with the same diameter as the propeller being placed at right angles to the relative airflow. The torque component of this reversed TR now acts in the same direction as engine torque would normally act and will drive (i. the take-off distance will be significantly increased and there will be a risk of damaging the engine through 'overboosting' and detonation. • then increase MP to the desired value with the throttle. the CSU will fine off the pitch in an attempt to maintain the rpm selected at the time. the required rpm and full thrust will not be developed during the take-off run. ensure the pitch control is set to FULL FINE so that full power will be available in the event of a go-around. ensure that the pitch control is placed in the FULL FINE position for take-off. During the pre-landing checks. but the throttle will have to be occasionally adjusted to maintain a given MP (opened in a climb.

and create control difficulties on a multi-engined aircraft. I I I I rotation I I TAS Feathering It is clearly a big advantage to be able to prevent windmilling drag following an engine failure....~:. with windmilling torque continuing to drive a possibly damaged engine.. The forces acting on the blade when operating in reverse pitch are shown in Fig. NOTE: For those constant-speed propellers which do not have a feathering capability. The extra drag from this cause can limit the 'engine-out' range. . the forces acting on the propeller will be as shown in Fig.. it will be in the windmilling mode. it will produce the minimum amount of drag. Additionally. position. If power is applied when the propeller angle is in this arc.. 12- 16. In this position. The forces acting I on a windmilling propeller. 12-12 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . windmilling drag ~ . . When the propeller is in the feathered Fig. 12-14. it must pass through an arc in which the blade angles are small and negative. As the blade is being rotated below the normal fine pitch stop to obtain the reverse thrust angle. Reverse Thrust If the propeller blades are turned through the fine pitch stop to a blade angle of about minus 20' and power is applied. The blade sections are working relatively inefficiently at a negative angle of attack. This will reduce the drag from the 'dead engine' to the minimum. it is important that the pitch control is placed in the FULL COARSE position following an engine failure. even if for some reason. 12-14.e.. while those <:= nearer the tips will have a 'negative' angle-'positive' and 'negative' lift will cancel out and no turning moment on the is balanced by that produced by outer sections propeller will be generated (Fig. 12-15. there is the eventual risk of seizure or fire. During the transition through this arc. an overspeed is likely.i\ ' TR relative airflow Fig. A feathered propeller. Mechanical devices are therefore used to prevent the application of power until the propeller blades have been turned safely into the reverse pitch range.. i.. degrade performance. Feathering involves turning the blades to any torque or 'lift' produced the angle of attack with the oncoming by inner sections: airflow at which no net propeller torque is produced. reverse thrust is obtained... it does not continue to turn over. the blade airflow sections nearer the hub will have a 'positive' angle of attack. 12-15)..

.~'f!l reverse thrust Fig. and that part at pointY is subject to force Y-8. When the propeller is rotating. These spanwise components on the leading and trailing edges of the blade are shown as X-C and Y-D. Centrifugal Force The blades of a rotating propeller have mass and are turning on a circular path about the propeller hub. 12-17. a centripetal force must be applied toward the centre of rotation. • centrifugal twisting moment. relative airflow TAS Propeller Twisting Moments Considerable stresses are placed on the propeller blades and pitch changing mechanism in flight. Each of these forces can be resolved into the following components: • Forces in line with the span of the blade (parallel to the pitch-change axis) which try to pull the blade out of its 'socket'._ . TR . It can be seen that the forces on the leading and trailing edges. • Forces at right angles to the span (and pitch-change axis) which try to pull the blade into fine pitch. the blade reacts by 'pulling' in the opposite direction with the same force. This centrifugal force (which is acting as if to stretch the blades and pull them out of their 'sockets') can be very strong. is of course. For example. 12-1 7. applied to the blade at the attachment point of the blade root with the csu.. proportional to the mass of each blade and the square of its rotational velocity. especially at high rpm. that part of the blade at X on the leading edge of the blade is subject to the force X-A. and • aerodynamic twisting moment. To visualise the action of the CTM. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-13 . To keep the blades turning on their circular path. The centrifugal force on the blade is the reaction (in accordance with Newton's Third Law) to the centripetal force required to keep it turning in its circular path. the centrifugal force which affects each part of the blade originates from the centre of rotation. consider the end view of the blade section as well as the plan view shown in Fig. The most important of these are: • centrifugal force. Reverse thrust. As much as CSU attachment point has to 'pull' on the blade to keep it rotating in a circle.. '-!it'C'. This force. These chordwise components result in the centrifugal tWisting moment (CTM). Centrifugal Twisting Moment (CTM) Consider the propeller blade in Fig. 12-16.

In a steep dive at low power. 12-18. -t.e. (A) Aerodynamic twisting moment. centrifugal the pitch-change axis which attempts to pull the blade into '\ 1:I' twisting :' I' moment fine pitch. 12-17. than propellers with narrow Centrifugal twisting moment. turn it in the opposite direction to the CTM). it only partially offsets the CTM.e. pitch. represented by X-E and Y-F B D C A respectively. 12-14 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . But. as the ATM is usually much weaker. resulting in an engine overspeed. will have a stronger CTM and a greater tendency to go into fine Fig. the ATM is reversed and acts in the same direction as the CTM-i. ''' ' I : I ' (CTM) ' F -~X E) I In constant-speed propellers. ATM ATM CTW relative relative airflow airflow (A) (B) Fig. the centre of pressure of the blade is usually forward of the pitch change axis resulting in an ATM which tends to coarsen the blade angle (i. Aerodynamic Twisting Moment (ATM) An aerodynamic twisting moment (ATM) arises whenever the aerodynamic total reaction force (TR) does not act on a line through the pitch-change axis. The strength of the CTM is influenced by the shape of the propeller-those with wide blades and a greater chordwise distribution of mass. blades. When a propeller is windrnilling however. both act to fine off the propeller. In normal operation. the combined effect of the CTM and ATM may be strong enough to prevent the CSU from moving the blades to a coarse position as speed is gained. The ' ' ~ CTM places a greater demand on the F' E pitch changing mechanism when increasing blade angle (moving to coarse) and less demand when PltChwchange axis decreasing the angle (moving to fine). and (B) twisting moments on a windmilling propeller. form a couple about +-:.

. 0 /. 12-19.. ' .. ' .. The top illustrations in Fig. as in (b). / fu -. 12-19. The vector diagrams illustrated are for an equivalent blade section of a propeller at constant rpm and aircraft TAS. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-15 . In (a) it can be seen that the distance travelled and the angle of attack of each blade is the same. for all four diagrams... 12-19 represent a propeller operating at right angles to the direction of flight (a) and then tilted back (b). D / ~ II ~ I \ I ' I \ I ' I I I ' I direction of travel 'I I \ / r '' I \ I ~ '. as is the length of the TAS vectors. However. DOWNGOING BLADES - rotation RAF RAF TAS TAS rotation RAF rotation RAF UPGOING BLADES Fig." / / u \. the distance travelled by the downgoing blade and its angle of attack both appear to be greater than for the upgoing blade. the relative airflow meets the downgoing blade sections at the same angle as their counterparts on the upgoing blade.. as shown in the lower part of Fig. You will recall that the relative airflow for a given blade section can be determined by finding the resultant of its rotational velocity vector (rpm) and forward velocity vector (TAS). the relative airflow approaching the downgoing blade is different to that affecting the upgoing blade sections.. Asymmetric blade effect. (a) (b) .. therefore. Note. that the length of the vectors representing the distance travelled in a half revolution are the same. when the disc becomes tilted back with respect to the direction of flight. When the disc becomes tilted back however.Asymmetric Blade Effect When the propeller disc is operating at right angles to the direction of flight. This can be confirmed if vector diagrams are drawn for each of the propeller blades.

compressibility effects significantly decrease the thrust and increase the propeller torque. c i. the upgoing blade retreats by the amount of tilt at the same time as it is carried forward by the aircraft. For propellers which rotate clockwise (when viewed from the cockpit) the shift is to the right.g. the vector diagrams (on the left) clearly show that the relative airflow and angle of attack of the upgoing and downgoing blades are equivalent. Solidity is measured by: radius No. Asymmetric blade effect becomes significant only when the 'tilt back' of the propeller disc is comparatively large. it can be clearly seen that the relative airflow vector for the downgoing blade is longer. Propeller Solidity For efficient operation. In addition. Propeller solidity. Asymmetric blade effect results in a shift in the thrust line toward the side of the propeller disc with the downgoing blades. When the disc is tilted back. propellers must be carefully matched to the power of the engine so that the power which the engine is capable of producing can be 'absorbed' by the propeller and converted efficiently into thrust. As a result of the tilt. to 3 or 4). it is also clear that the upgoing and downgoing blades adopt different angles between their rotational and TAS vectors. during its 180° of rotation. When the propeller tips approach the speed of sound. of blades x chord at radius r circunlference at radius r ' '' It can be seen from the diagram that solidity can ' be increased by: '' • increasing the number of blades (e. or • increasing the chord of the blades. increasing the chord decreases the aspect ratio of the blades. and the rpm and TAS with which it can be used. In effect. the ratio between that part of the propeller disc which is solid at a given radius to the ' ' ' ' circumference of the disc at the same radius (Fig. For these two reasons-faster airflow and higher angle of attack-the downgoing blade develops more thrust when the propeller disc is tilted back. Although the second of the above options is easier to engineer. and thus the airflow past this blade is faster than for the upgoing blade. 12-20. making them less efficient. Fig. In contrast.e. the downgoing blade advances by the amount of tilt in addition to moving forward with the aircraft. reducing the efficiency of the blades. The usual method of absorbing the power of an chord engine is to adjust the solidity of the propeller. ' ' . It is one of the factors contributing to swing on take-off in a tail-wheel aircraft (as explained in Chapter 13) and is a determinant of 'critical engine' in multi engine aircraft (Chapter 14). the angle of attack of the downgoing blade is higher. although the blade angle (angle between chord and plane of rotation) is the same for both blades. The critical factor in matching a propeller to the power of the engine is the tip velocity.' ' 12-20). 12-16 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . These effects impose a limit on the propeller diameter. When the propeller is at right angles to the direction of flight.

. airspeed.... 3.... At constant rpm...../brake power...... I 0.. Principles of Flight Propellers 12-17 .. engine torque is balanced by .... The distance the propeller would theoretically advance in one revolution at the zero-thrust angle of attack is called .. 4. angle of attack... Most of the thrust produced by a propeller comes from the area of the blades at around (50%/ 70%/ 90%) radius... For operation at relatively high airspeeds and low rpm. ..... A propeller converts engine torque into (thrusVhorsepower).... and also when the propeller is operated at the ....... 13.. The blade angle is that angle between the chord line of a propeller section and the (plane of rotation/direction of flight).... 7....... For operation at high rpm and relatively low airspeeds. the most efficient fixed-pitch propeller would have a (fine/coarse) pitch.......... The blade angle of a constant-speed propeller can be varied in flight between its fine and coarse pitch limits.... 5... efficiency is therefore zero at ........ 12.... 9..... II......... the most efficient fixed-pitch propeller would have a (fine/coarse) pitch.... torque........ a propeller blade is (twisted/straight)......... and the other in the plane of rotation called propeller ...... ..... one in the direction of flight called . there will be (one/several) true airspeeds at which the propeller will operate at its most efficient angle of attack........... ... 8......... ..... pitch............... The blade angle is greatest near the (hub/tip)...... 15. The mechanism which governs the angle which the blades take up is called the . ... From Q 13.. With a fixed-pitch propeller at a given rpm.... ..... The total aerodynamic force produced by a propeller is normally resolved into two components......... Constant-speed propellers 18.. engine rpm will (increase/decrease).............. 17.. To ensure that it operates at an efficient angle of attack over its whole length................. ...... Review 12 I. 14..... The fastest moving part of a rotating propeller is at the (hub/tip). The difference between experimental mean pitch and the actual distance the propeller advances in one revolution is called . Geometric pitch is the distance of advance at (zero degrees/the zero thrust) angle of attack. 2......... If you place a fixed-pitch propeller aircraft into a dive and leave the throttle set.... 6... Propeller efficiency can be measured by thrust X................. 16.

.. In the reverse thrust mode.. the CSU will act to (fine off/coarsen) the blade angle to keep the propeller torque balanced with engine torque (and therefore maintain constant rpm)............... Aircraft fitted with constant-speed propellers are normally operated on the ground with the pitch control set to (FULL FINE I COARSE). ...then increase .................. 25... first reduce .. The aerodnamic twisting moment (ATM) normally tends to move the blades into (coarse/fine) pitch. With a feathered propeller.............. 24... control..... However..... A windmilling propeller operates at a small (negative/positive) angle of attack................... 31............... When decreasing power (when it is desired to reduce rpm). .... The centrifugal twisting moment (CTM) tends to turn the blades into (fine/ coarse) pitch...... 21..... The rpm at which the CSU will govern the propeller is determined by the pilot using the .......... at constant throttle and pitch lever settings............. 27.. The power developed by the engine is controlled by the pilot varying manifold pressure (MP) with the . 29......... airspeed is reduced. The normal method of increasing the ability of the propeller to absorb the power developed by the engine.... the dovvngoing blade travels (faster/slower) with a (higher/lower) angle of attack and thus develops more . the combined effect of the CTM and ATM can 'lock' the propeller into (fine/coarse) pitch and the CSU may not be able to prevent an overspeed.. If... 33. 19............ first increase the ..... 30. than the upgoing blade.... 12-18 Propellers The Commercial Pilot Series . State two methods usually employed to increase solidity.. if MP is increased.. the CSU will act to (fine off/ coarsen) the pitch of the blades to absorb the increase in engine torque....... ... 22.... 26.... the blade angle is turned such that no ...... When increasing power (when it is desired to operate at higher rpm)..... When the propeller disc becomes tilted back with respect to the direction of flight............. ......... 20.. 23........ This effect is called ....... .. the propeller blades are turned to a relatively large (positive/negative) angle of attack and power is (increased/reduced).. 28. .. ... effect.. ensure that the pitch control is set to .. In the take-off checks...... then reduce ....... At a given rpm setting.. propeller torque is produced........ 32.. .. and the propeller torque acts in the (same/opposite) direction as the engine torque would normally act.... when the propeller is windmilling... the ATM reverses and in a dive with low power........... is to increase ..

-. If it remains in its displaced position it has neutral static stability. hence our coverage of it is necessarily limited. and it will be dynamically unstable if it continues to diverge from the original attitude. Dynamic stability relates to the subsequent motion of the disturbed body. after a disturbance.Stability Introduction 13 When properly trimmed in a given flight attitude. Principles of Flight Stability 13-1 . once the static stability reaction has taken place. An aircraft will have dynamic stability if it eventually returns of its own accord to its original position of equilibrium. without intervention by the pilot. a stable aircraft will return to that attitude after having been disturbed from it. once the nose attitude is disturbed up or down by a gust. making it difficult to control (this is also called negative stability). If it initially tends to return to its original position it has positive static stability (it is statically stable). An unstable aircraft will move further away from the original attitude after a disturbance.. 13-1. unless the pilot does something about it. It will have neutral dynamic stability if it continues to oscillate evenly about the original attitude. • tends to move back to original position stays in disturbed position moves further away from original position I. If it continues to move away from the original position. which can be taken to relate to a ball bearing resting on three different smooth surfaces. Static stability. Toward the end of the chapter we include an allied subject-stability and control of an aircraft on the ground. This subject is an extremely complex one.-- original position { ) disturbed position " Fig. A neutrally stable aircraft will remain in the disturbed position. In this chapter. An aircraft will have positive static stability in pitch if. Static stability refers to the initial reaction of a body after being disturbed or displaced from a position of equilibrium. we look at the main factors affecting the stability of an aircraft in the air. it has negative static stability (it is statically unstable). Static and Dynamic Stability There are two kinds of stability-static and dynamic. I positive stability neutral stability negative stability . for example. it initially moves of its own accord back toward the original position.. These conditions are simply illustrated in Fig.\ '. 13-1.

e. We do not consider in any great detail the way in which it returns to equilibrium (i. 13-2 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . However. the initial tendency of the aeroplane to return to its original attitude. there has to be a compromise between stability and controllability. we deal with the stability of an aeroplane in the three planes of movement (in pitch. in the third example above. In the design of most aircraft. {negative dynamic stability) Static and dynamic stability for an aircraft in the pitching plane are illustrated in the above diagram. without any action being taken by the pilot. An aircraft which has a high degree of stability is resistant to changes of attitude and manoeuvre thereby reducing its controllabilty. An aeroplane with this characteristic can be dangerous. yaw and roll). Most aircraft are designed to have this in-built stability. that the aeroplane will be designed to have positive dynamic stability as shown above. An aircraft which returns to its original trimmed attitude unassisted by the pilot. We are mainly concerned with static stability in these three planes-i. an aircraft can be statically stable. its dynamic stability) as this is a complex subject and beyond the scope of this manual. but be unstable dynamically. the same considerations apply in roll and yaw and this will be covered shortly. In the following paragraphs. note how. original disturbance returns to original attitude of own accord attitude ~~ positive static positive dynamic stability stability ! " . hence designers make sure their aeroplanes do not exhibit it. as in the first example above. For a pilot used perhaps to less stable aircraft. Controllability refers to the ease with which a pilot can manoeuvre the aircraft and change its attitude by using the control surfaces. We can take it however. if not impossible to fly. is said to be inherently stable."' .' oscillates evenly about original attitude -----z ' neutral dynamic stability diverges from · . a 'high-stability' aircraft will feel 'sluggish' on the controls and require heavy stick forces to manoeuvre. Stability of an aircraft in the pitching plane. An aircraft must have static stability before it can be dynamically stable. Stability and Controllability Stability is the inherent ability of the aircraft to return to its original attitude after being disturbed.e. Although we have shown this stability in the pitching plane only. original attitude 11~ P/ dynamically unstable Fig. 13-2.

Most aircraft are designed to have a sufficient degree of static stability so that. this degree of stability should leave the aircraft with sufficient manoeuvrability to suit its role. turbulence (a gust. 13-3. the CP also moves forward with increased angle of attack. 13-3. when trimmed in the required attitude. i. While the stick forces are light and the aircraft is readily manoeuvred. they will virtually fly 'hands-off-i.e. an aircraft with little or poor stability will require constant control inputs from the pilot to keep it from diverging from the selected attitude. this type of aircraft is difficult and tiring to fly. the aircraft has been disturbed nose up from its trimmed attitude. the centre of pressure (CP) of the wing is positioned behind the centre of gravity (CG).e. However. swirl or eddy) causes the pitch attitude to change. 13-3 to provide the restoring moment and return the aircraft to the trimmed attitude and equilibrium. wing lift increases which tends to increase the nose-down pitch about the CG. As the disturbance is taking place. 13-4. In conventional aircraft. as often happens. Longitudinal Stability Longitudinal stability is in the pitching plane about the lateral axis. for a cambered wing section. Longitudinal stability following an uninvited nose-up pitch. will initially tend to continue on its original flight path and the angle of attack of both the wings and the tailplane will be increased. an aircraft must have an inherent tendency to return to the same pitch attitude after a disturbance. require guidance from the pilot rather than constant control inputs. Wing Pitching Moment Consider the distribution of the lifting forces and weight shown in Fig. the wing pitching moment from lift tends toward stability. the aircraft. because of its momentum. ~--0 constant pitch attitude nose-up disturbance: tail plane lift increased restoring moment with tailplane providing angle of attack of wings to provide nose down disappears when (say) a small amount of and tailplane increased restoring moment original attitude regained lift to balance main forces Fig. At the same time. If. resulting in changes to the lift being generated. Should an uninvited nose-down pitch occur. In this example. If the aircraft is displaced nose-up. the tailplane (or horizontal stabilizer) is the principal means of obtaining longitudinal stability. The resulting increase in tailplane lift (or decrease in negative lift) produces a nose down pitching moment which returns the aircraft to its original trimmed position. it is the change in angle of attack of the tail plane which produces the main restoring (or stabilizing) force. Longitudinal stability is the most important static stability mode because disturbances to the pitch attitude affect the angle of attack of the wings. the tailplane operates in the reverse sense to that depicted in Fig. On the other hand. In diagram (a). and this tends to Principles of Flight Stability 13-3 . The action of the tailplane in maintaining stability is shown in Fig. The aircraft must be designed in such a way that the forces generated by these uninvited changes in pitch angle/angle of attack act so as to return the aircraft to the original pitch attitude. To be longitudinally stable.

increased probable wing lift nose-down increased tailplane lift. For positive longitudinal stability. the increase in the wing pitching moment (through the increase in wing lift and movement of the CP) tends to increase the displacement in pitch. and which the designer must take into account. Disregarding the small effect of the fuselage pitching moment. the CP is shown as acting ahead of the CG (although not the usual arrangement of forces. In diagram (b). for example. Wing pitching moment following a nose-up disturbance. if the nose is displaced upward. There will also be a similar (but smaller) pitching moment for the fuselage. it does occur with some aircraft). In this case. increased wing lift t nose-up (unstable) nose-down pitch pitch (b) CP ahead of CG nose-up displacement w Fig. which generally tends to be unstable. In some circumstances. 13-4 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . reduce the stabilizing effect of the increase of lift. (stable) nose~down pitch pitch (a) CP behind CG nose-up displacement w increased tailplane lift. 13-4. The tailplane must be designed to counter any unstable influence of the wing and fuselage pitching moments. the forward movement of the CP can be large enough to cause an unstable pitching moment. for this to occur in diagram (b): tail plane lift x y must be greater than wing lift x z. the wing pitching moment following a disturbance is clearly unstable. That is. the tailplane restoring moment must remain greater than any unstable wing (plus fuselage) pitching moment.

13-5 became displaced 2' nose-up. the lift from the tail plane will increase in the same proportion as the lift from the wings. increasing the angle of attack of the wing from 3' to 5'. the wing may be set at an angle of 3' incidence with respect to the fuselage datum line whereas the tailplane may be set at a lower angle of (say) 1'. the aircraft represented in Fig. Position of the CG The pilot. and the effect of downwash from the wing. Features which affect the restoring moment include. and the position of the centre of gravity. With aircraft of conventional configuration. of course. As the coefficient of lift cmves in the normal operating range for both the wing and tailplane may be considered as straight lines. Tailplane Design The restoring moment and the effectiveness of the tailplane in maintaining longitudinal stability are in large part determined by its design. factors Affecting the Degree of Longitudinal Stability The main factors affecting the degree of longitudinal stability are the design of the tailpliu1e. tail plane wing fuselage datum Fig. Longitudinal dihedral has no effect on the basic stability of the aircraft. For example. and this is something which the pilot can influence through control of the loading of the aircraft. However. and the angle of attack of the tail plane from 1' to 3'. the tailplane must usually be set at a slightly lower angle of incidence than the wings. the tailplane is set at a lower angle angle of incidence than the wings. To trim out the pitching moments in normal cruise. Longitudinal Dihedral In many aircraft. most aircraft require the tailplane to produce a small downward force (nose-up pitching moment). longitudinal stability-and controllability in pitch -is determined to a large extent by the position of the CG. To provide for this. tailplane area and shape. Longitudinal dihedral. the tailplane is influenced by the downwash behind the wing. If. This difference is called longitudinal dihedral. has no control over the design features which affect longitudinal stability. after taking into account the downwash from the wing. for example. the distance between the tailplane CP to the aircraft CG (tailplane moment arm). as shown in Fig. 13-5. (Note the difference between angle of incidence and angle of attack). The main criteria for stability is that the tailplane restoring moment remains greater than any unstable moment from the wings. 13-5. Principles of Flight Stability 13-5 . The main reason for longitudinal dihedral is to enable the tailplane to operate efficiently in the cruise. the variation in lift per degree change in angle of attack does not depend on the initial incidence settings or on their difference.

At the same time. it may not be possible to flare the aircraft properly for landing. At the same time however. the aircraft will Jack manoeuvrability. A given tailplane force therefore creates a more effective restoring moment and the aircraft becomes more stable in pitch. Directional Stability Directional stability is in the yawing plane about the normal axis. the elevator becomes more effective and a smaller elevator deflection/lower stick force is required to achieve the same change of nose attitude in pitch. the shorter the tailplane moment arm and the less stable the aircraft becomes in pitch. It may even be impossible to regain control if the aircraft stalls and enters a spin.e. It is the responsibility of the pilot to ensure that the aircraft is loaded so that the CG position falls within these limits. the aircraft feels 'nose-heavy' and higher stick forces are required to manoeuvre it in pitch. A forward CG position -greater longitudinal stability. the longer the moment arm becomes for the tailplane. Always ensure the aircraft is loaded within its CG limits. If flown with the CG further fmward than normal. the further forward the CG. the aircraft feels 'tail heavy' and becomes more sensitive to elevator movement. tail plane I FORWARD CG I tail plane I AFTCG I lift lift long arm shorter arm high restoring moment. stability opposes manoeuvre.stable lower restoring moment -less stable Fig. 13-6. When flown with an aft CG position. Aft CG Position The further aft the CG. the less effective the elevator becomes in changing the pitch attitude. CG Limits Limits are laid down for the range within which the CG must lie for safe flight. This is because any given elevator deflection must now overcome a greater tailplane restoring moment- i. elevator stick forces may become excessive and. It may be considered as the inherent ability of an aircraft to 'weathercock' so that the nose remains pointed into the oncoming airflow. it will have insufficient longitudinal stability and will be difficult to control. If flown with the CG forward of the fmward limit. 13-6 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . If the aircraft is flown with its CG behind the aft limit. Forward CG Position The further forward the CG. with the lack of elevator effectiveness at slow speeds.

A swept-back fin also stalls at a greater angle of attack. is provided by the fin (or vertical stabilizer). The greater the fin area and keel surface behind the CG. The fin now develops an angle of attack and a restoring moment which returns the fuselage back to alignment with the airflow. If the aircraft is disturbed in yaw by turbulence. causes a sideslip. fin side force restoring moment Fig. Lateral Stability Lateral stability is the inherent ability of an aircraft to recover from a disturbance in the lateral plane (i. has a zero angle of attack and accordingly produces no net side force. This lateral component component of the relative airflow is then used in a various 1 ofRAF ways to produce a rolling moment to restore the aircraft to w its original wings-level position. L A disturbance in roil will cause one wing to drop and the I I other to rise. its momentum will cause a skid to develop.Directional stability relies on the aircraft having a greater amount of 'keel' (or side) surface behind the CG than ahead of it. and therefore of directional stability. Design measures for improving directional stability include the fitting of dorsal and ventral fins (to increase the fin area). This may sometimes be Fig. In a conventional aircraft the major part of this keel surface. in roll about the longitudinal axis) without any control input by the pilot. and the greater the moment arm. The factors affecting directional stability are similar to those mentioned for longitudinal stability. the greater the directional stability of the aircraft. and particularly those of the fuselage.::::::: / lateral has a lateral. but it is worth noting that all keel surfaces. Principles of Flight Stability 13-7 . Thus a forward CG favours directional stability more than an aft CG as it gives a longer moment arm for the vertical stabilizer. when the aircraft is aligned with the oncoming airflow. or for some other reason. 13-8 A roll disturbance referred to as keel effect. Directional stability following an uninvited yaw. or sideways component. I~ With side-slip. As we have seen previously. 13-7. The fin is a symmetrical aerofoil which. and sweeping back the fin (which moves its CP rearward and increases the moment arm). the relative airflow approaching the aircraft / '. when the I aircraft is banked.e. play a part. the lift vector is inclined-and the I resultant of weight and the inclined lift vector generate a I force which causes the aircraft to slip sideways toward the I lower wing. allowing greater side-slip angles to be attained before the control surface stalls.

the lower wing. Low-wing aircraft also develop the same lift/weight restoring couple after an uninvited roll. meets the relative airflow at a higher angle of attack than the upper wing.e. but as the CP and CG are much closer vertically.wings (and tailplane) is the usual means . which contributes to dihedral effect. of the. with side-slip and shielding of the upper wing. Factors Affecting Lateral Stability Dihedral As shown in Fig. 13-10. the CP tends to move toward the lower wing.. These are discussed in the following paragraphs. Dihedral is the upward inclination of the wingtips with respect to the wingroots. the restoring moment is much smaller. 13-9. but a number of other factors also make a contribution. i. The use of.in the construction. The couple which is set up laterally between the vertical component of lift and the weight tends to restore the aircraft to the wings-level attitude.r_aj_ ___ _ As the aircraft develops side-slip after an uninvited roll. sideslip component A negative dihedral. increasing this displacement.of pmviding lateral stability. Fig. the centre of pressure (CP) of the wing becomes laterally displaced with respect to the centre of gravity (CG). Shielding Once the aircraft begins to side-slip. 13-9. Dihedral corrects to moderate and prevent the natural uninvited rolling laterai stability of this configuration from becoming too strong (see below). The lower wing therefore produces more lift than the upper and a rolling moment is produced which tends to return the aircraft to its original wings- level position with no side-slip. 13-11. 13-8 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . it tends to accentuate any uninvited roll. In addition. Dihedral. known as anhedral. Wing Position A high-wing design confers greater lateral stability than a low-wing design. because of L dihedral. _ _Qi!J§\!. dibedral. when uninvited roll occurs. As shown in Fig. Anhedral is used typically on large high-wing aircraft Fig. the trailing (upgoing) wing becomes shielded to some extent by the fuselage. of relative airflow has a destabilizing effect.

component ofRAF Sweepback Lateral stability is increased if the wings have sweepback. and the length of the effective chord is decreased (thickness/chord ratio effectively increased). generates more lift and provides a restoring moment to any uninvited roll. the lower swept-back wing presents more of its span to the oncoming airflow. 13-13. As shown in Fig. provide a stabilizing influence.Fig. w Keel Surface/Fin Where the geometric centre of the keel surface/fin area is above the CG.MORE LIFT Fig. Tall fin designs. Sweepback counters univited roll. As the side-slip develops after an uninvited roll. particularly when combined with a high T-tail and a low CG. the side-slip 'drag' force will tend to roll the aircraft away from the direction of the slip-i. High keel surfaces and a low CG provide a lateral restoring moment. these factors combine to give an effective increase in the aspect ratio of the lower wing which. The stabilizing effect of a high wing/low centre of gravity. 13-11. keel surface~ rolling 'drag' ' \~ffect Fig. 13-12. effective span relative airflow effective relative airflow span ______L__ _ LOWER WING . make a positive contribution to lateral stability.e. 13-13. as a result. Principles of Flight Stability 13-9 .

This degree of spiral instability is unimportant. make it want to continue to roll in the direction of the disturbance. through the further effect of yaw. and so on. The balance between lateral and directional instability is such that in most aircraft. An oscillat01y motion is soon set up where the aircraft is both rolling and yawing simultaneously. However. This is called spiral instability which. continues until the aircraft is in a steep spiral dive. Hence. it is essential to have the side-slip which the disturbance in roll causes. 13-10 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series .g. if the pilot does nothing to intervene. continued application of a yawing force (rudder. as it is easily controlled and is preferable to having too much lateral stability. The aircraft begins to oscillate in yaw. Dutch roll is characterised by a combined rolling and yawing motion-a wallowing motion-which can continue for some time after an aircraft has been disturbed from a position of equilibrium. weak directional stability) the recove1y from the yaw disturbance is slow and poorly damped. which leads to more yaw and more roll. Lateral and Directional Stability Considered Together For lateral stability. has a large vertical stabilizer but no dihedral-once disturbed in roll it will tend to continue to roll in the same direction. the lateral and directional stability characteristics of an aircraft are in conflict in that: • lateral stability (dihedral effect) wants to return the aircraft to wings-level. is as follows: • The aircraft is disturbed in yaw. but • the directional stability (weathercock effect) wants to make the aircraft roll further. or asymmetric power) leads to the aircraft entering a spiral dive if the pilot does nothing about it. a form of dynamic (oscillat01y) instability called Dutch roll can occur. Spiral Instability If an aircraft has strong directional. when the aircraft side-slips after a disturbance in roll. Because the restoring moment from the fin and keel surfaces is not strong (i. A simplified explanation of what is a complicated aerodynamic process. which we now consider. This side-slip provides the sideways component of relative airflow which is necessary for the dihedral and other lateral stability features to work and provide a restoring moment in roll. Therefore. That is. the aircraft's directional stability is also brought into play. whenever slip (or skid) is introduced. but weak lateral stability-e. there is a slight tendency toward spiral instability. its directional stability will cause it to yaw in the direction of the slip and. after a disturbance in roll. Dutch Roll When the lateral stability of an aircraft is too strong by comparison with its directional stability. and the nose begins to drop.e. • The yawing motion generates a rolling motion through dihedral effect. The designer has to ensure that lateral and directional stability are correctly matched-that neither predominates too much. The increased angle of bank leads to more side- slip.

The roll and yaw oscillations thus get out of phase and tend to 'feed' off one another. acting through the CG and pivoting about the main wheels. The nosewheel configuration is inherently stable. in the case of tailwheel aircraft. the aircraft will be rolling left while it is still yawing right. the recove1y from each excursion in roll is faster than the recove1y in yaw. In these cases the motion is often referred to as snaking. take-off or in the landing roll-out). I 3. the nosewheel (or tricycle) '' configuration is inherently stable-that is. 13-14. the yawing motion in Dutch roll is much more pronounced than the oscillation in roll. a positive force must therefore be applied at all nosewheel aircraft times through nosewheel steering. Fig. Principles of Flight Stability 13-11 . the CG must remain within the area bounded by the three wheels. in strong winds.g. tends to straighten the aircraft up. With its CG placement ahead of the main '' wheels. e. 13-15. and vice versa. However because of the much stronger lateral stability. when turning or.I 4) the less likely the aircraft will be to tip over in that direction. • The yawing and rolling oscillations are of the same frequency. the CG must remain within the area bounded by the wheels. the centrifugal reaction force. This is the wallowing motion which characterises the Dutch roll. asymmetric power or a combination thereof. The further the CG is from any of the boundaries of this area (indicated by the dashed lines in Fig. differential braking. For stability. ' (or something) \ nosewheel aircraft tends to maintain a straight must apply a side - track when travelling over the ground (during force to turn taxiing. a nosewheel steering '. In some cases. If the aircraft is displaced from its straight course. Stability and Control on the Ground If an aircraft is not to tip over on the ground. Ground Roll Stability ~. At times therefore. A low CG and widely spaced wheels reduce the tendency for the aircraft to tip over on the ground. To turn a nosewheel aircraft on the ground. nose~whee! aircraft tail-wheel aircraft Fig. High keel surfaces and dihedral make the aircraft more susceptible to the destabilizing effects of a crosswind. when brakes are applied and/or high power is used.

differential braking.. With the CG placement behind the main wheels. / / RIGHJ'TURN Fig. The rudder pedals. tailwheel aircraft If a tailwheel aircraft is allowed to swing (or turn) about the main wheels at too high a rate. I I the nosewheel and the rudder I in a turn to the right. Slipstream over the rudder increases its effectiveness. Control on the Ground Directional control on the ground is achieved by the use of rudder. 2. If a tailwheel aircraft is displaced from a straight course on the ground. narrow wheelbase and an unfavourable wind may combine to tip the aircraft onto the outer wingtip. it is possible that the ability to control the turn with rudder and/or differential braking will be lost. a positive force must be applied-e. rudder moves right Sharp turns at high speed should be avoided-a high CG. When this occurs. power and brakes. 13-12 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . so care is needed when taxiing in crosswinds or tailwinds. the tailwheel configuration is inherently unstable.g. In contrast.. but in the directionally stable nose wheel aircraft. 13-16. steerable tailwheel. Any wind tends to weathercock the aircraft into wind. '' ''\ \ Fig. through a tailskid. many taildraggers can be controlled mainly with the use of rudder alone. the use of rudder alone is usually insufficient to give good directional control on the ground. nosewheel steering (which may be connected to the rudder pedals). The tailwheel configuration is inherently unstable. the aircraft will spin rapidly and uncontrollably about the main wheels in what is called a groundloop. nosewheel turns to right aerodynamic force generated by slipstr am moves tail left nose right 3. This means that once the aircraft is made to enter a turn. . the centrifugal reaction force tends to increase the rate of turn. To avoid the possibility of a groundloop in tailwheel aircraft-and particularly with those aircraft fitted with castoring tailwheels-care must be taken to prevent large swings from developing during the landing roll-out. 13-17. slipstream past the rudder-to control the rate of turn and prevent it from increasing too much.

In some aircraft. This asymmetric blade effect is significant during the initial part of the take-off run in a tailwheel aircraft. For engines which rotate clockwise when viewed from the rear the tendency to swing on take-off is to the left. the line of thrust is shifted toward the downgoing-blade side of the disc and a yawing moment is produced. As the aircraft is more nearly in the flying attitude and the axis of rotation of the propeller is more closely aligned with the direction of travel. as this type of undercarriage configuration is inherently stable. requiring right rudder to counteract it. When the tail is raised later in the take-off run. swing to left ~ Tailwheel aircraft exhibit the greatest tendency to swing on asymmetric blade effect take-off. this will add or subtract to already-present tendency to swing for the reasons just described. Nosewheel aircraft exhibit much less tendency to swing on take-off. the increased tendency to swing due to NOTE: For clockwise rotation of engine when gyroscopic effect is quite viewed from cockpit noticeable as the tail lifts. Crosswind Take-offs and Landings Crosswind take-off The main difficulty presented by a take-off in a strong crosswind is that of keeping the aircraft tracking straight down the runway. 13-16 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . Summary of the four reasons for the tendency to swing on take-off. all of the foregoing causes of swing on take-off act in the same direction. 13-25. The main reasons for a nosewheel aircraft to swing are slipstream effect and torque reaction but. A crosswind will tend to weathercock the aircraft away from the runway direction and. depending on its direction. Asymmetric Blade Effect As explained in the previous chapter. the tendency to swing reduces. when it is travelling across the ground in a tail-down attitude. asymmetric blade effect and gyroscopic effect are minimal. when the axis of rotation of the propeller becomes tilted back with respect to the direction of travel. the axis of rotation becomes more nearly aligned with the direction of travel and asymmetric blade effect is reduced. 13-25. any tendency to swing for these reasons is less apparent and easier to control than in a tailwheel undercarriage aircraft. Fig. the downgoing blades in the propeller disc develop more thrust than the upgoing blades. with the tendency being gyroscopic effect most pronounced during the early part of the take-off when the tailwheel is still on the ground. particularly if this is done quickly. the downgoing blade side will be to the right and the aircraft will tend to swing to the left. Summary of Effects As shown in Fig. If the propeller rotates clockwise when viewed from the cockpit. As the take-off proceeds from this point. As a result.

engine torque Fig. more of the aircraft weight is supported by the left main wheel than the right wheel.. yaw to left Fig. it appears as a fmward-tilting force on the right hand side of the propeller disc.-­ resistance: yaw to left Gyroscopic Effect At high rpm. With gyroscopic precession. In a tailwheel aircraft. r . The aircraft is prevented from rolling when it is on the ground by the main wheels. Hence. but as a result of torque reaction. 13-22. Gyroscopic effect as the tail rises. causing swing 3. with clockwise rotation. left whee increased --"fi~~-d!£. as the tail is coming up..e. force (in effect) applied here""''""~~~~>'-. tail rises 2. this is the equivalent of applying a fmward-tilting force at the top of the propeller disc. Slipstream effect. 13-23. 13-24. the aircraft will tend to swing to the left until the wings take the weight off the main wheels. aerodynamic force Torque Reaction With engine torque rotating the propeller clockwise. as the tail is lifted off the ground during take-off. this force is felt 90' further on in the direction of rotation-i. Torque reaction effect. because of this. 1. the rotating propeller (together with the rotating masses of the engine) have the same properties as the rotor of a gyroscope. is precessed thru 90" to here to left Fig.--~ 4. Principles of Flight Stability 13-15 . The left main wheel therefore has a greater rolling resistance than the right and.. gyroscopic precession is felt as a yaw to the left. the reaction to this torque tends to rotate or roll the engine (and the aircraft) in an anti-clockwise direction.

Slipstream Effect The rotation of the propeller imparts a 'corkscrew' motion to the slipstream as it travels back past the fuselage. Swing on Take-off There is a tendency for single-engine propeller driven aircraft-particularly those with a tailwheel undercarriage-to 'swing' to one side on take-off. using differential toe brakes when necessa1y. especially at an angle. Some aircraft have an offset or biased fin (i. The causes of swing on take-off are: • slipstream effect.g. 13-20. 13-21 Summary of the use of controls when taxiing in windy conditions. • gyroscopic effect. by moving the control wheel out-of-wind. Avoid any sudden braking or sudden power increases. For propellers rotating clockwise when viewed from the cockpit (the more common direction of rotation). lower its aileron so that the wind cannot get under it. when wind is from i hemisphere control wheel forward and out-of-wind Fig. Always be cautious if you have unavoidably to taxi or park your aircraft close behind another aircraft. during take-off. e. Taxiing in a left-quartering tailwind. and maintain directional control with the rudder pedals. NOTE: The propwash or jet blast from another aircraft can produce the same effect as a wind. 13-14 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series .e. This yawing effect of slipstream is most pronounced at high power/slow speeds. A quartering tailwind from behind the aircraft and to one side is the most difficult and hazardous taxiing condition. • asymmetric blade effect. and • crosswind (weathercocking tendency as already explained). To avoid a crosswind from behind lifting the upwind wing. left o• quartering tailwind DOWN UP P•• left quartering tailwind I ' down Fig. Hold the control wheel forward and out-of- wind. with a small built-in angle of incidence) to help counter slipstream effect. the slipstream meets the fin and rudder at an angle which generates a yaw to the left. • torque reaction.

hold the control wheel fmward to move the elevator down.. This weathercocking tendency is greater in tailwheel aircraft than in those fitted with a nosewheel. with a strong tailwind. use differential braking to assist. ground friction and wheelbrakes are the means of slowing the aircraft..... This stops the wind from lifting the tail from behind. and harder to turn it downwind. power can usually be reduced. it is a good policy to avoid especially hard or harsh braking on any aircraft and to demonstrate plenty of anticipation of the need to slow down. Although the same hazards do not exist with the nosewheel (or tricycle) undercarriage aircraft. and any braking tends to destabilize it directionally. 13-19. Taxiing into a strong headwind and. This also applies for a crosswind directly from abeam.. elevator forward Fig... Air resistance.. When taxiing into a strong headwind in a nosewheel aircraft hold the control wheel so that the elevator is neutral or back..... Principles of Flight Stability 13-13 . once moving.Speed is controlled on the ground by the use of power and brakes. if not. tailwind ~ ~ . Hard braking may cause a taildragger to tip over on its nose. 13-18.. but. Ideally. Allowing for Wind Effect when Taxiing When taxiing.. headwind UP DOWN 1 up Fig.. The weathercocking tendency due to a crosswind also makes it easier to turn the aircraft upwind.control wheel into wind. The rudder pedals. When taxiing with a strong tailwind. In a taildragger. Power applied with the throttle is the normal means of accelerating the aircraft and. especially if nosewheel steering is fitted.. To avoid a crosswind from ahead lifting the upwind wing. raise its aileron by moving the control wheel into wind.. the weight carried by the nosewheel will neither be too little (causing steering difficulty) nor too great. should provide adequate directional control to steer a straight path even in a strong crosswind.. quartering left ' left headwind quartering --~---tr~-----. the controls should be held in a position to avoid either the tail or a wing being lifted by a strong wind (or a strong gust)... Taxiing into a left-quartering headwind.. It is good ainnanship not to use power against the brakes.. hold the control column back to keep the tailwheel firmly on the ground.... A crosswind will try to weathercock the aircraft into-wind because most of the keel surface is behind the main wheels..

it will begin to drift toward the downwind side of the runway.) Fig. crosswind Fig. Again. at the same time. 13-28 refers. Ill Crosswind take-off. or landed gently on the upwind mainwheel first. There are two techniques for achieving this: • On approach to land and throughout the flare. it is a relatively simple procedure to fly. Using this technique. The main challenge in a crosswind landing comes at the point of touchdown where. Use 'into-wind' aileron to prevent any tendency for that wing to lift.Prevent any tendency to swing with rudder. During the latter part of the approach. (The aircraft is being flown slightly uncoordinated with side-slip-although it may sound complicated. the aircraft is tracked down the extended runway centreline with the appropriate drift angle applied. the wheels will not be properly aligned with the direction of travel. Pnnc1ples of Flight Stability 13-17 . is prevented from drifting to one side or the other by adjusting the bank angle into the crosswind. the handling difficulties are greater for the tailwheel aircraft than for the nosewheel type. Fig. but particularly those with a tailwheel. rather than have to apply large amounts of rudder to make a 'late' correction for a swing which has been allowed to develop. 'nip any tendency to swing in the bud' with small and timely rudder corrections. The amount of aileron used should be progressively reduced during the take-off run-to zero at lift-off. If touchdown occurs before the yaw is complete. 13-26. Crosswind landing. The 'down' aileron may also provide some drag to help counteract weathercocking yaw. 13-27. the problems with keeping straight in a crosswind landing are similar to those of the crosswind take-off. the landing will impose some side strain on the landing gear and some initial difficulty with directional control may be experienced. (The aircraft is flown somewhat crabwise with the coordination ball centred and the wings level except where adjustments to tracking are required). the fore/aft axis of the aircraft is aligned with the runway centreline with rudder and. In both of these cases. With all aircraft types. aileron 'into-wind' Crosswind Landing Once on the ground. the aircraft is 'yawed straight' with rudder so that it becomes aligned with the runway heading. the aircraft is flared with bank applied and can then either be rolled level just prior to touchdown. If the aircraft is yawed straight but does not immediately touch down. Use rudder to prevent any swing and apply aileron into-wind. Fig. ideally. 13-27 refers. the aircraft should be headed along the runway centreline and not have any cross-runway drift. Just prior to touchdown. • A second crosswind landing method is called the 'wing- down technique'. The timing of the yaw is critical.

13-18 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . OUT OF GROUND EFFECT . D a.~. The strongest crosswind that an aircraft can handle is limited by rudder effectiveness and a maximum demonstrated crosswind component is specified in the Pilot's Operating Handbook. Fig. Flying in ground effect. Ground Effect Ground effect is the so-called 'cushioning' benefit which is obtained when an aircraft is flown at ve1y low level above a smooth surface.TR lift ~ improved vorticity reduced ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~i~downwash restricted same effective Fig.---~TR L b. 13-29. IN GROUND EFFECT drag reduced . Crosswind landing: the 'wing down' technique. 13-28.--. Ground effect becomes noticeable at a height above the surface of less than one wingspan and increases in effect the closer the wing is to the surface (which can be land or water).

......... an aircraft will have (sufficient/ insufficient) longitudinal stability...... (high/ low) fin and keel surface.... 14..... Which of the following factors contribute the most to lateral stability.. will be (easier/more difficult) to fly: and flight safety (may/may not) be jeopardised.. I 0....... Lateral stability relies on the .. the (less/more) stable the aircraft in pitch............... If the fin and keel surface area behind the CG is increased... 8. directional stability will be (reduced/improved)...... 12..... will tend toward a form of oscillatory dynamic instability called .. provides the main means of obtaining longitudinal stability in an aircraft... An aircraft which has strong directional... ............... (high wing/low wing)... II.. The .. 6........ directional stability will be (reduced/improved). 2.. 7......... the tailplane restoring moment must be (less/ greater) than any unstable wing (and fuselage) pitching moment... The further forward the CG.. An aircraft which has strong lateral stability by comparison with its directional stability. (straight/swept) wings....... Static stability refers to the (initial/subsequent) tendency of an aircraft to return to a position of equilibrium after a disturbance. If flown with the CG behind the aft limit.. but weak lateral stability........ In contrast..... List the five possible causes of a swing on take-off in a tailwheel aircraft.. 5........... 4. the tailwheel configuration is inherently (stable/unstable). 9. (anhedral/dihedral): (shielding/no shielding).. 13-20 Stability The Commercial Pilot Series . 13.. An aircraft which has static stability but then continues to diverge from its original attitude after a disturbance is .......... which develops after a disturbance in roll.. Review 13 I........ instability. The nosewheel (tricycle) undercarriage configuration is inherently (stable/ unstable) in the ground roll...... For longitudinal stability...... With an aft CG position.... unstable. will tend towards ........ 3.

but this does not normally present a problem unless the aircraft is being operated at very high weight from a short strip. A slight 'sagging' in take-off performance will be noticeable. downwash behind the wing is reduced. avoid having excess speed at the beginning of the flare and ensure that power is properly reduced. in turn. To prevent this floating in ground effect from becoming excessive. 4. the Total Reaction vector of the wing is tilted further forward which. In short. Fig. the wing is more efficient 'in ground effect' than out of it. Ground Effect on Take-off and Landing As the aircraft climbs out of ground effect on take-off. The ability of the vortices to flow freely becomes restricted and. alternatively. the same lift can be produced at a reduced geometric angle of attack. Principles of Flight Stability 13-19 . With a reduced average downwash angle when flying 'in ground effect' than when out of it. Ground effect generally tends to cause the aircraft to 'float' briefly before touchdown. • There is a reduction in induced drag and. lift will decrease and induced drag will increase. the aircraft will enter ground effect at about one wing- span height. The aerodynamic process involved is the same as would occur if the aspect ratio of the wing was suddenly increased-a reduction in the downwash angle leading to a reduction in induced drag and an improvement in lift. as a result. therefore.Ground effect arises through the reaction of the vortices behind the wing with a close-proximity surface. On final approach to land. means: • More lift is produced at the same geometric angle of attack or. of total drag.I I also refers.

total thrust will equal total drag. and are balanced about. causing a yawing moment toward the failed engine. any multi engine aircraft which suffers a failure of one of its power-plants has a potential asymmetric flight problem in that: • the line of total thrust will be offset from the yawing moment normal axis. we consider the aerodynamic factors involved in asymmetric flight in a twin-engine propeller-driven aircraft. Principles of Flight Asymmetric Flight 14-1 . Fig. causing a yawing moment toward the failed engine. the normal axis (Fig. Symmetrical balance of thrust and drag forces about normal axis. thrust and drag act at a distance from the normal axis. the aim is to fly the aircraft in such a way as to achieve optimum performance with the asymmetric thrust and reduced power available. In this chapter. in steady flight. With all engines at the same power setting. normal axis through CG Fig.Asymmetric Flight Introduction In normal flight in a multi-engine aircraft. 14-2. the immediate concern is to control the yaw and any roll which results and maintain a safe flightpath. ~ thrust • the line of total drag moves toward the failed engine. 14-1 refers). total drag Following an engine failure. the lines total thrust of total thrust and total drag act through. Unless all of its engines share the same thrust line. 14-1. with the appropriate drills completed and the failed engine 'secured'. which adds to the asymmetric thrust yawing moment. and • there is a reduction of total thrust available which leads to a deterioration in failed engine performance. there equal thrust are no residual yawing moments resulting from from engines the offset engine thrust lines and. Then. With one engine failed.

the aircraft is constructed with the greater proportion of fin and rudder surface area behind the CG than ahead of it. The weathercocking moment resists the asymmetric thrust yawing moment. To obtain directional stability. The greater the increase in drag on the 'dead engine' side. Directional stability. The total yawing moment following an engine failure can be very strong- particularly at high power and low airspeeds. and it increases with airspeed. The higher the thrust. • The loss of slipstream over the wing. Yawing Moment The strength of the yawing moment due to the asymmetry of thrust and drag about the CG is proportional to: The thrust from the live engine. the greater the yawing moment. and weathercocking moment is therefore less effective when the aircraft has an aft CG!oading. Directional stability is reduced with rearward movement of the CG. The potential handling difficulty is therefore worst under these conditions (e. Increased distance increases the arm through which the thrust from the live engine acts and therefore increases the yawing moment. This provides a 'weathercocking' effect which acts to keep the fuselage aligned with the direction of flight. The rate of thrust decay. 7-12 provides a summa1y). If the engine failure is gradual. The distance of the thrust-line from the CG. 14-2 Asymmetric Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . resulting in a loss of lift on the side of the failed engine. mainly through: • The further effect of yaw-as has been explained at Chapter 7 (Fig. during take-off and initial climb) than in any other phase of flight. The drag of the failed engine.g. Other Factors Other factors which affect the yawing and rolling moments to a degree depending on which engine has failed are: Propeller Torque Reaction The action of the engine in turning the propeller produces a reaction which tends to roll the aircraft in the opposite direction about the engine. The drag of a failed engine will be higher than one which is operating normally-particularly if the propeller is windmilling. the onset of the yawing moment will also be gradual. This is called propeller torque reaction. Rolling Moment Failure of an engine also causes a rolling moment to develop. the stronger the yawing moment toward that side. Note that the roll is also in the direction of the failed engine.

Thrust is therefore produced evenly from either side of the propeller disc and the line of thrust from each engine can be taken as acting through the propeller hub. 14-3. propeller torque reaction therefore tends to roll the aircraft anti- clockwise around the live engine. the thrust line can be taken for all practical purposes to coincide with the direction of flight. torque reaction . With these aircraft. The explanation is repeated here. as shown in Fig. 14-3. 14-4. Asymmetric blade effect.Most piston-engined aircraft have powerplants which rotate clockwise when viewed from behind (those with engines of United States origin). 14-4. In the normal cruise and at low angles of attack. Propeller torque reaction. it aids in 'lifting' the failed engine side and reduces the amount of aileron needed to correct it. v Principles of Flight Asymmetric Flight 14-3 . Under these conditions. higher a) Fig. the upgoing and downgoing propeller blades have the same angle of attack (a) and relative airflow.toward failed engine ~---fbi===' ~ @t~gine propeller rotation failed =c =. On the other hand. Asymmetric Blade Effect Asymmetric blade effect has already been explained in Chapter 12. In this case. requiring more aileron to correct for it.away from failed engine torque reaction . propeller torque reaction after failure of the right engine works in opposition to the roll generated by the failure of the engine-i. propeller torque reaction acts in conjunction with the rolling moment caused by a failed left engine. forward velocity v relative airflow upgoing upgoing blades rotational velocity r ')l axis of ' direction of flight rotation downgoing blades downgoing v upgoing blades downgoing blades downgoing (faster. with an alternative diagrammatic presentation.e.~C=. as shown in Fig.==" failed propeller rotation Fig.

The engine with the smallest moment arm is therefore the worst to have fail and it is referred to as the critical engine. As can be seen from the lower diagram in Fig. when the propeller disc is tilted. the downgoing blades produce more thrust than the upgoing. or. and • prevent unwanted roll with aileron. the displacement of the thrust lines is of no consequence. Fig. resulting in the feathering and shut-down of a perfectly serviceable engine. the downgoing blades advance by the amount of tilt in one-half revolution. that at high angles of attack. 14-5. the geometry of the rotational and forward velocity vectors is changed. However. greatest yawing moment with critical engine failed In normal flight at high angles of attack. placing the propeller control in FULL COARSE. the immediate actions required of the pilot to retain control of the aircraft are: • prevent further yaw with rudder. If the fault cannot be rectified. in which case the left engine becomes the critical engine. the upgoing blades retreat by the same amount). left engine right engine arm arm NOTE. these actions will include feathering the propeller on the failed engine. the thrust line becomes tilted back with respect to the direction of flight. it can be seen from the diagram. if it is of the non-feathering type. The net result is. there is a faster relative airflow past the downgoing blades. and the thrust line of each engine becomes displaced toward the downgoing-blade side of the propeller disc as shown in Fig. 14-5. that failure of the left engine would result in a significantly larger yawing moment than a failure of the right engine. At high angles of attack however. Immediate Actions When an engine failure occurs. 14-4. In addition. 14-4 Asymmetric Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . Displaced thrust lines owing to asymmetric blade effect. This is shown by the longer relative airflow vector in the diagram. such that the downgoing blades now have a higher angle of attack than the upgoing (even though the blade angles have remained the same). Accidents have occurred in the past through pilots mis-identifying the problem engine. It is stressed that the correct identification of the failed engine is important. it is important that the failed engine is quickly identified and the appropriate actions taken in accordance with the Pilot's Operating Handbook without delay. (In effect. The diagram is for an aircraft with engines that rotate clockwise when viewed from the rear. Identification of the Failed Engine In most cases of sudden engine failure in a multi-engine aircraft.

14-6. Modes of Constant-heading Asymmetric Flight Provided sufficient speed is maintained. The aircraft will want to yaw toward the failed engine. the wrong engine has been selected) and engine instrument indications. Most pilots will however. use rudder instinctively to prevent this yaw. if left unbalanced. side-slip) and bank applied. with the weight and lift vertically aligned. • apparent drift toward the failed engine. an aircraft can be flown on a constant heading under asymmetric thrust conditions with various combinations of rudder (i. • all bank. the aircraft adopts a small side-slip angle and a 'weathercock' side-slip force is generated which opposes the rudder side force.e. in which case rudder pressure becomes the indication of the failed engine-i. would tend to push the aircraft sideways toward the failed engine. We discuss these modes of asymmetric flight under three headings: • all rudder. Principles of Flight Asymmetric Flight 14-5 . the aircraft will maintain a constant heading wings-level with the rudder yawing moment equal and opposite to the thrust yawing moment plus the weathercock yawing moment-see Fig. Because of this side-slip. The counter to this rudder side force comes from the inherent directional stability of the aircraft. The forces are balanced and. In using rudder alone to prevent the yaw from asymmetric thrust. no slip is indicated on the coordination ball.e. Note that the aircraft is constantly side-slipping at a small angle and thus the heading and direction of flight do not coincide. a lateral rudder side force is created which. is the direction in which the aircraft yaws when the failure occurs. the dihedral of the wings generates a rolling moment which must be constantly countered with aileron applied toward the failed engine. rudder is used to prevent the yaw from the asymmetric thrust and the wings are held level with the use of aileron. in spite of the side-slip angle.The most immediate indication of which engine has failed in a twin-engined aircraft. rudder pressure is needed away from the failed engine. In a colloquial sense. When just sufficient rudder is used to prevent any yaw (with the wings held level). All Rudder In this mode. and • a combination of rudder and bank. the aircraft is crabbing along slightly sideways with the nose pointed a few degrees away from the direction of flight. yaw and control pressure will indicate only the side of the failure and proper identification can only come from the engine instruments/warning devices). • ball centred. (For aircraft with more than two wing-mounted engines. You may find it easier to remember this by using one of the following sayings: ''working leg-working engine" or "lazy leg-lazy engine" The identification of the failed engine must then be confirmed through closing its throttle (if yaw results. The control forces generated by the constant deflection of rudder and aileron can be trimmed out with the trim controls and the flight instrument indications are: • wings level. When these forces are in balance.

--u: .. . TOP VIEW REAR VIEW ALONG FLIGHTPATH thrust yawing weathercock moment yawing moment ---------..\:. Although this mode of asymmetric flight is the easiest to fly accurately because of the straightforward instrument indications.... moment d!rectJon of flight ~ aileron rolling moment I l weight side force weight side-slip side force force w \ \ slip indicated weathercock yawing \ . .. 14-7. . Asymmetric balance of forces with wings level. it is not particularly efficient owing to the extra drag generated by the side-slip angle of the fuselage and the constant deflection of the aileron surfaces.. . . 14-7 The 'all bank' mode.· ~ moment Fig.aileron rolling \r I direction of fhght \ /Sideslip angle dihedral rolling~ moment moment I lift (l) I I I I :)D side-slip force weight (W) I I I I rudder yawing moment .~o skid indicated I I Fig. . All Bank The arrangement of forces in the 'all bank' mode of asymmetric flight is shown below in Fig....7'") \ toward live engine 14-6 Asymmetric Flight The Commercial Pilot Series ... 14-6. ~ dihedral rolling . moment thrust yawing ..~ ..

The ideal arrangement is. The resulting weathercocking yawing moment is used to counteract the thrust yawing moment. a large amount of slip is indicated toward the live engine. Another way of looking at it is that the tilted lift vector provides the side force to balance the rudder side force. Ideal balance of forces using combined rudder and bank in asymmetric flight. together with a small amount of bank toward the live engine to balance out the rudder side force.e. 14-8 below. no bank) and 14-7 (all bank. The all bank mode is seldom used but is shown here to demonstrate the principles involved. coupled with the side-slip angle. 14-8. thrust yawing moment . The aircraft is banked and is constantly 'side-slipped toward the live engine.. results in higher drag than is necessa1y.----------. Note that by banking the aircraft toward the live engine. T direction of flight w I I I slight slip indicated --~-. Principles of Flight Asymmetric Flight 14-7 . As can be seen from the diagram. this mode involves a relatively large side-slip angle and a high angle of bank (perhaps as much as 15°). With no unbalanced slip or skid the coordination ball merely slides to the bottom of the tube to indicate the direction in which weight is acting. with rudder remaining in its normal central position. with the longitudinal axis of the aircraft aligned with the direction of flight. a component of weight acts in the lateral plane and can be used to offset side-slip (or rudder) side force. It is difficult and uncomfortable to fly and very inefficient. no rudder). The arrangement of forces in this particular combination is shown in Fig.-. 14-6 (all rudder. to have sufficient rudder applied to counteract the thrust yawing moment. Note also that although the forces are balanced. toward ~ 4-"' live engine rudder yawing moment Fig. The amounts of rudder and bank can be varied between the two extremes represented by Fig.In this mode. The turn which would normally result from this sideways component of lift is being prevented in this case (when the appropriate angle of bank is held) by the opposite turning effect of the asymmetric thrust. the asymmetric thrust yawing moment is counteracted without the use of rudder-i. Combined Rudder and Bank The more normal method of controlling the aircraft on a constant heading in asymmetric flight is to use a combination of rudder and bank. The tilting of the lift vector requires the aircraft to be flown at a higher angle of attack to counteract the weight in level flight and this.

This minimum speed should be treated with a great deal of caution and. VMCG (standing for the minimum control speed ground) is the minimum control speed at which. or by using an inordinate amount of bank toward the live engine. it is better to use more rudder and accept a small side-slip angle. a mode somewhere between the 'rudder and bank' and the 'all rudder' modes is usually adopted. with the nose slightly offset toward the live engine (and therefore a small amount of apparent drift). and under sea level !SA conditions. full power on the live engine. VMCA must be demonstrated under a very specific set of circumstances' to be not greater than 1·13 times the level stalling speed in the same configuration. the aircraft is flown with: • a small side-slip angle. In this 'hybrid' mode. 14-6) with the wings level. 14-8 Asymmetric Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . CG at the aft limit. In attempting to fly this mode however. and at altitude. and • with a small amount of slip indicated toward the live engine. undercarriage retracted. when flying asymmetric. it is possible to maintain directional control with rudder control alone. On some low powered types. standing for minimum control speed in US terminology) will probably be stated in the aircraft flight manual and marked on the airspeed indicator as a radial red line at the lower end of the scale. To obtain airworthiness certification. the bank angle should be contained to between 5 and 10°. It is not applicable to light twin aircraft. 3. a good policy would be to treat it as one would a stalling speed and keep a respectable margin above it so that control can be assured. In practice. a point will be reached where full rudder is required to prevent yaw. below which control in yaw cannot be properly maintained by normal means 2 • VMCA (standing for the minimum control speed airborne) is the minimum control speed following a sudden failure of the critical engine after take-off at which an average pilot will be able to maintain directional control with full rudder and no more than 5o bank applied. This speed assumes the take-off will be continued. For twin-engine aircraft. Rather than increase bank with zero side-slip. the extra drag is kept to a minimum. Minimum Asymmetric Control Speeds If an asymmetric' aircraft is flown at decreasing lAS with the live engine at full power. Both of these measures will normally result in a loss of altitude. at MCTOW. We are concerned here with light twin-engine aircraft. VMCA (or VMc. This point is the minimum asymmetric control speed. These conditions include: critical engine windmilling. The arrangement in Fig. and then about 5o of bank is applied toward the live engine and the amount of rudder reduced so that a constant heading is maintained. 2. the aircraft is initially flown in the 'all rudder' mode (Fig. flaps at the take-off setting. To get there. the VMCA may be below the stalling speed in the configuration being flown. 14-8 would provide the optimum performance since. Other means of maintaining directional control are by reducing power on the live engine. with zero side-slip angle. NOTES: 1. after failure of the critical engine during the take-off run. othe1wise the gains made by having zero side-slip will be lost in having to fly at a higher angle of attack to maintain the vertical component of lift. • a small amount of bank (around 5°) toward the live engine.

o. State two other means of identifying (or confirming the identification ot) which engine has failed. Principles of Flight Asymmetric Flight 14-9 . In the 'all-rudder' method of maintaining a constant heading in asymmetric flight. From Q 5. (c) the drag from the failed engine is (low/high).... 5...... over the wing. (b) the distance between the thrust line and CG is (long/short). tends to roll the aircraft to the (left/ right).... causing an asymmetric yawing moment toward the (live/failed) engine.. Therefore...... and there will be a small amount of apparent drift... the lines of thrust and total drag become offset from the normal axis. 4.. rudder pressure is needed (toward/ away from) the live engine. propeller torque reaction after an engine failure. for the usual direction of engine rotation. 11..... 6. If one engine fails.. In this mode: (a) the nose will be offset slightly (toward/away from) the live engine... the thrust lines are moved to the (right/left) making the (right/left) engine the critical engine to have fail..... when the CG position is (forward/aft) and the airspeed is (high/low). 8...e. and (d) the aircraft has a low weathercocking moment.. and (c) a small amount of slip will be indicated toward the (live/failed) engine. In practice.... At high angles of attack...... and the loss of ... which is the worst engine to have fail from the point of view of propeller torque reaction? 7. 2. 1. 9. the asymmetric yawing moment will be strongest when: (a) thrust from the live engine is (high/low)....... axis. Engine failure also causes a rolling moment toward the (failed/live) engine.... Review 14 The following questions refer to a twin-engine propeller driven aircraft (wing- mounted engines).... For engines which rotate clockwise when viewed from the rear... The asymmetric yaw from the live engine is prevented by banking and side-slipping (toward/away from) it.. Following from Q 2. With both engines operating normally in flight. The balance ball is (centred/offset) and there is apparent drift toward the (live/failed) engine. In the 'all bank' method the rudder is central.. thrust and drag forces will be balanced about the .... i.. 10. asymmetric blade effect results in a shift of the thrust line of the engines (toward/away from) the downgoing side of the propeller disc. a mode between 'all rudder' and 'all bank' is flown.. the wings are held level with aileron and rudder is applied to prevent yaw. through the further effect of . In preventing yaw after engine failure. 3. (b) a small amount of bank is applied (toward/away from) the live engine-not more than about .

14-10 Asymmetric Flight The Commercial Pilot Series .

for a piston engine. Thus: air distance flown specific air range (SAR) = fuel used Dividing both top and bottom lines of this equation by time. Specific Air Range (SAR) is defined as the air distance flown per unit quantity of fuel. Developing this theme a little further. Both the theoretical and practical aspects of flying for maximum endurance. i. in units of fuel (e. it can be seen that to achieve maximum specific air range (SAR). are then discussed toward the end of the chapter. In the first. or fuel flow. the aircraft must be flown for the maximum product of airframe efficiency (TAS/power) and engine efficiency (1/SFC). specific fuel consumption (SFC) is defined as the GFC (or fuel flow) per unit of power produced. Range Flying -Theory Maximum range in level flight is achieved when the greatest distance is covered for the amount of fuel used. we need to be flying at the highest TAS for the lowest gross fuel consumption.Range and Endurance Introduction In this chapter. we discuss the theory of range flying. we cover the subject of flying for maximum range in two parts. for the greatest specific air range. we cover the practical aspects of planning a flight at maximum range using the information- tables and charts-which will normally be available for this in the Aircraft Flight Manual.e: GFC specific fuel consumption (SFC) = power or GFC = SFC x power substituting in equation I above: TAS 1 SAR = power X (equation 2) SFC From equation 2. For US-sourced aircraft. In the second.g. USG) used per hour) Hence. we get: air distance flown time specific air range (SAR) = =--'--''-'-'-'=-----'-'-'-'-' X time fuel used TAS = GFC (equation 1) (where GFC =gross fuel consumption. Principles of Flight Range and Endurance 15-1 . SAR will normally be measured in air nautical miles per US gallon (anm/USG).

15-1 below. we have to take account of the effect of wind velocity. this is the point at which the ratio of TAS obtained for power applied is the highest.) Effect of Weight An increase in weight means that the angle of attack for best UD ratio is reached at a higher !AS. drag has also increased. altitude has no effect on the best range lAS. drag/max. As shown back in Fig. The best speed for range is therefore increased. power required for level flight Fig. note from the shape of the curve. remains constant with altitude. Aitirame Considerations: Piston-engine Aircraft Range Maximum airframe efficiency and the best range speed (maximum TAS/power ratio) occurs at the speed for minimum drag/maximum UD ratio. it occurs where the line drawn from the oligin is tangential to the curve. Best range speed is the speed for Min. 15-1. that at speeds slightly above or below the best range speed. To determine the actual range which will be flown across the ground. 15-2 Range and Endurance The Commercial Pilot Series . However. UD ratio and therefore. while this point lies at the bottom of the drag (or thrust) curve. on the power required curve. While this increase in !AS means that the TAS will be higher. the lAS for Min. Effect of Wind Velocity So far. Range is therefore reduced if weight is increased. both the TAS and the power required at the best range speed increase in the same proportion. drag/best UD ratio. there is little change in the slope of the line and therefore ofTAS/power ratio. The TAS/power ratio remains unchanged and therefore. 8-10. This is the speed which gives the best ratio of TAS/power required. ('Best range' TAS increases with altitude. As can be seen from Fig. A headwind component will decrease the range achieved. the specific ground range (SGR)-the ground distance flown per unit quantity of fuel- is dependent on groundspeed/power. from the airframe point of view. Whereas the SAR is dependent upon TAS/power. while a tailwind component will increase it. best range speed. At any other power setting the slope of the line drawn from the origin will be steeper and the ratio of TAS/power will be poorer. 0 t TAS TAS (still air) for maximum range Effect of Altitude At a given aircraft weight. As altitude is increased. and the power required has increased out of proportion to the gain in TAS (remember power = drag X TAS). we have confined our consideration to specific air range (SAR) which is the range which is achieved in the air mass.

. 15-2) and finding the speed (TAS) to fly below the redrawn tangent to the PR curve. resulting in inefficiency... hence the reduction in range through flying at the higher speed is insignificant... or a tailwind component exceeds 33% of TAS... drag speed. ... The optimum speed in headwind/tailwind conditions can be found by locating groundspeed on the PR!I'AS graph (in the manner shown in Fig. but if weight is increased.·· v v TAS (GIS nil wind) 0 50 100 I .. Recommended Range Speed In practice.. the TAS/power ratio does not change significantly with small changes of speed about the min. the optimum speed for range is increased. The reason for this is that when flying at the minimum drag speed.. power required (PR) \ \ ' -~"'. The effect of wind velocity on best range speed...····· I : -... the highest groundspeed for the least amount of power being used). the optimum speed is reduced. _. if the Aircraft Operating Manual gives a recommended range speed./! .. and in strong tailwinds..e...... Note how the optimum speed for range increases in a headwind..-. Principles of Flight Range and Endurance 15-3 . it will be about I 0% higher than the minimum drag speed.. As indicated previously... . .. adjustments are not usually made.. increases in a tailwind.To obtain maximum ground range. __ ..v· < ••·. manoeuvring or turbulence can place the aircraft too far into the 'wrong side of the drag curve' and require additional power to be applied to regain speed.. In practice however.•' I I I ''' ~ . Summary From the airframe efficiency point of view. 15-2.. In strong headwinds. unless the headwind component exceeds 25% of TAS. maximum range is achieved by flying at the minimum drag speed. I GIS 50 kts tailwind 0 50 100 150 GIS 50 kts headwind 0 50 100 150 Fig.. Altitude has no effect on the best lAS to fly.... we must fly at the speed which provides the highest ratio of groundspeed/power (i. decreases in a tailwind... It is also generally more comfortable and easier to fly accurately at the higher speed. r i' - . range is reduced and the best speed to fly is increased.J...../ . I -...-.. Range reduces in a headwind.

and the power required by the airframe reduces (TAS reduced). with the minimum specific fuel consumption (SFC). There will normally be a limit to the minimum usable. and this lowers the FTH. the air filter (if fitted) should be 'out'. and some engine-driven services (generator/alternator) may not operate properly. and the power settings which permit them. For the same reason.e. To maintain that speed. Use of low rpm reduces friction losses and improves volumetric efficiency. Engine Considerations As stated previously. i. Ram air is also not generally available with carburettor heat selected. Temperature Cold air at a given altitude improves SFC. for best range. Carburettor Air Intake Where the application of carburettor heat is necessary to prevent ice formation. Altitude The power required is produced more efficiently if the aircraft is at full throttle height (FTH) for the setting being used. the aircraft should be flown for the maximum product of airframe efficiency (TAS/power) and engine efficiency (1/ SFC). a certain amount of power must be used. • Low rpm. 15-4 Range and Endurance The Commercial Pilot Series . a number of combinations of rpm/manifold pressure (MAP) may be used. because richer mixtures are required at very low rpm to prevent rough running. lf maximum range is to be achieved. The lowest SFC is obtained by using the lowest rpm with the highest MAP (within allowable limits). since the power available can be achieved at lower rpm. As we have also just seen. the SFC will deteriorate. are essential to achieving low SFC. the reason for this is that the engine 'breathes' better and the power losses through friction in the induction and exhaust systems are reduced. airframe considerations determine that the aircraft should be flown at a recommended range speed (RRS) which is about 10% higher than the minimum drag speed. Altitude also gives the advantage of colder intake air which increases the temperature rise within the engine and improves its thermal efficiency. • High MAP. the engine must be operated in such a way that this power required is produced most efficiently. giving a richer mixture and reducing the thermal efficiency. Mixture Strength Lean mixtures. Basically. Maximum MAP for the rpm being used is limited by the cylinder pressures above which a rich mixture must be used for cooling and the prevention of detonation. Factors Affecting SFC RPM and Manifold Pressure (MAP) To obtain the power required. High carburettor intake temperatures reduce the density of the air intake.

• The various power settings (MAP and rpm) to achieve the desired percentage power at different altitudes are given in a separate table in the POH. 0 kt I 0. Example I. • the engine(s) properly leaned. will be given in a cruise performance table.... and • carburettor air cold and air filter 'out'... Note that when flying in lower temperatures.... 65% and 75% MCP. • the aircraft at FTH. under !SA conditions. the lowest SFC and best range is achieved by having: • not more than maximum weak-mixture MAP set..... • minimum rpm.. To determine the maximum range under prevailing conditions. These refer to two different leaning techniques which will be described elsewhere in the POH.000 ft . Flying for Range .... Note..... 75.Summary For piston-engined aircraft. As has been explained previously. for a gross weight of I . theTAS and fuel flows obtained at various power settings and pressure altitudes. 15-3: • Fuel flow figures are given (in the boxes) for 81.. 20 kt HEAD Principles of Flight Range and Endurance 15-5 .633 kg. As you would expect. it is necessary to use the performance tables or graphs provided to: • extract the fuel flows at various altitudes and true airspeeds. 5. which are then used with the fuel flows to find the best specific ground range (SGR)... With US-sourced aircraft.. which is representative of the cruise performance graph for a relatively high-performance single-engine aircraft.. 17-3. power required curves or a recommended range speed are not provided in the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH).. and using best economy mixture with headwind components of: sea level .... the GPH (gallons per hour) fuel flows stated will be in US gallons per hour.....000 ft .. then • apply head or tailwind components to find the corresponding groundspeeds.. the technique used for range flying is 'best economy' as this provides a leaner mixture and lower fuel flows. • Two sets of fuel flows are stated-for 'best power' and 'best economy'. With other aircraft.. SFC is enhanced and specific air range is improved... with reference to Fig.. • supercharger in low gear (if applicable)... 5 kt HEAD 15....... 65 and 55% maximum continuous power (MCP)... Using the graph in Fig.. these figures will have to be extracted from a graph like that shown at Fig.. 15-3 overleaf.. For some aircraft. analyse the SAR and SGR at 55%.000 ft .. the best power setting to use is that with the lowest rpm/highest MAP within the of recommended range of power settings.Practical Application For many modern light aircraft.... 0 kt..

Sample cruise performance table. 15-3. then vertically down to read off the TAS which will be achieved. (It will be best to make up a table for each power setting as shown below. then across to the appropriate 'best economy' dashed line. The fuel flow at the different percentage power settings is given in the 'best economy' box at the top right). TAS SAR= = anm/USG: and fuel flow GS SGR= = gnm/USG.) 1. the TAS at each altitude is found by following the 'Std Temp' line up until it intersects the required pressure altitude line. OUTSIDE AIR TEMP. As in our example standard conditions apply.000 130 13·8 9·42 -5 125 9·06 15.000 135 13·8 9·78 -20 115 8·33 15-6 Range and Endurance The Commercial Pilot Series .'C TRUE AIRSPEED -KNOTS Fig. Extract the TAS and fuel flow from the cruise performance table for each altitude and power setting. fuel flow 55% MCP Altitude TAS Fuel Flow SAR (anm/ Wind GS SGR (gnm/ USG) Component USG) SL 122 13·8 8·84 0 122 8·84 5. . (Not to be used operationally.000 126 13·8 9·13 0 126 9·13 10.

the best SAR obtainable is 9·42 anm/USG with power set for 55% and leaned for best economy. Hence. If you are committed to plan a flight which is likely to be at or close to the aircraft's maximum range. best SAR with 75% MCP is obtained at 15.000 143 15·7 9·11 0 143 9·11 10.000 ft (9·11 gnm/USG). • In the given wind conditions.000 !53 17'4 8·55 0 !53 8·55 10. if as is likely.000 160 17'4 9·19 -5 !55 8·90 15. best SGR at 75% MCP is obtained at I 0.000 ft (9·13 gnm/USG). 75%MCP Altitude TAS Fuel Flow SAR (anm/ Wind GS SGR (gnm/ USG) Component USG) SL 146 17·4 8·39 0 146 8·39 5.2. Work out the SAR and SGR as follows and list in the table: Note: • In still air.000 ft (9·78 anm/USG). the best SAR at any particular level is with 55% MCP set. 65% MCP Altitude TAS Fuel Flow SAR (anm/ Wind GS SGR (gnm/ USG) Component USG) SL 138 15·7 8·79 0 138 8·79 5. • In this example. • In the given wind conditions.000 ft (8·90 gnm/USG). However. • In the given wind conditions. best SGR at 65% MCP is obtained at either 5. there will be no alternative to conducting an analysis along the lines described above. best SAR with 65% MCP is obtained at 15.000 !53 15·7 9·74 -20 133 8·47 Note: • In still air. the aircraft is limited to 10. but at 5. 000 ft. By inspection of all three of the tables we have assembled: • For this aircraft. best SAR with 55% MCP is obtained at 15. the best SGR (9·13 gnm/ USG) will be achieved with the same power setting and leaning procedure.000 ft (9·74 anm/USG). only the higher altitudes and lower cruise power settings need be considered and compared. the SGR (gnm/USG) should be compared for both settings.000 148 15·7 9·42 -5 143 9-11 15. with the given wind components.000 ft (9·54 anm/USG).000 166 17'4 9·54 -20 146 8·39 Note: • In still air. if light winds are forecast. best SGR at 55% MCP is obtained at 5.000 ft. Principles of Flight Range and Endurance 15-7 .000 or I 0. Some aircraft Operating Handbooks may contain figures for 45% MCP as well as 55% MCP in which case.

an advantage is gained by remaining at a lower altitude. The speed for maximum endurance is the TAS which coincides with the bottom of the power required curve as shown in Fig. the best SGR for this aircraft at 5. • Use lean mixture (or 'best economy' leaning procedure). Note that it is time in the air which counts in flying for endurance-not distance. or when waiting for the arrival of a forecast improvement in aerodrome weather. as in Example I above.) This is the speed at which the minimum amount of power (and the lowest fuel consumption) is required to maintain level flight. (Ideally. the aircraft will be at 'full throttle height' at this power setting and altitude. if the headwind component at 5. rather than the 55o/o MCP which gives the best range in lighter headwind conditions. 15-1. 15-4. • Lowest possible gross weight. a better SGR may be obtained at a higher TAS and higher power setting. • Minimize drag-flap and undercarriage up. Example 2 Consider the effect on the SGR for the aircraft in Example I. If there are stronger headwinds aloft. the analysis will need to include the lower altitudes to determine whether. avoid continued use of carburettor heat.000 ft was -50 kt. There are few occasions when pilots are faced with having to fly for endurance but it can occur. • If possible. as in flying for range. Summary To achieve best range: • Fly at the power setting/altitude(TAS at which an analysis indicates the best gnm/USG is obtained under the prevailing conditions. Power TAS Fuel Flow Wind GS SGR (gnrn/ Component USG) 55% 126 13·8 -50 76 5·50 65% 143 15·7 -50 93 5·92 Obviously in these stronger headwind conditions. but this is not always possible). and have 'ram air' selected.000 ft is obtained at the higher speed with 65o/o power set. as demonstrated in Example 2 below. perhaps for air traffic control reasons. (Note the difference between this position on the CU!Ve and that shown for best range speed in Fig. In yet stronger headwinds. 15-8 Range and Endurance The Commercial Pilot Series . cowl flaps closed. • Use the highest MAP/lowest rpm combination within the recommended range to achieve the desired percentage power. Flying for Endurance Flying for maximum endurance involves remaining in the air for the greatest amount of time for the least amount of fuel used.

the best lAS to fly for endurance can be found with a little judicious experimentation. the engine must be operated with minimum gross fuel consumption (GFC)-minimum fuel flow. and endurance decreases with increased weight. As with flying for range. o Use the lowest permitted rpm for the lean range. fly at a slightly higher speed (e. with MAP adjusted to maintain the 'minimum power' speed. determine the lowest power setting which will comfortably hold the aircraft in level flight. Adjust MAP to maintain the selected speed. At higher altitude. and enable the generator/alternator to charge. correct leaning of the mixture has a significant effect on the endurance achieved. Therefore. or for manoeuvre. I 0% higher) to avoid having to apply large increases in power to overcome the effects of gusts/increased drag. o In turbulent conditions. which will give smooth running. Therefore. power required and GFC both increase because of the higher drag and TAS. Engine Considerations For maximum endurance. Effect of Weight Minimum power speed increases with increased weight. Principles of Flight Range and Endurance 15-9 . Practical Application In practice.g. minimum power I I v 0 t TAS TAS for maximum endurance Effect of Altitude The minimum power speed will coincide with a given lAS for a particular weight. • Fly at about the recommended gliding speed and. 15-4. power required and gross fuel consumption (GFC) to maintain the endurance speed increases with altitude. with small adjustments to power. best endurance is achieved at the lowest safe altitude. This is achieved at the lowest permitted RPM in the lean range. o Ensure that the mixture is correctly leaned. and the drag at the higher speed also increases. power required for level flight Fig. drag will be the same at that lAS but the TAS will be increased. Since power = drag X TAS. Maximum endurance (piston engine) is obtained at the minimum power speed.

the least amount of power is needed to maintain level flight and. the aircraft is flown at the minimum power speed. refer back to Chapter 9. power on at the endurance speed. descend slowly. page 9-9. 15-5: • For maximum range. As shown in Fig. therefore. · For a reminder on the difference between the minimum drag speed and the minimum power speed. but if you have the luxury of high altitude. • Fly at the lowest practical altitude. -~est endurance ·range TAS Fig. 15-10 Range and Endurance The Commercial Pilot Series . the greatest distance obtained for the amount of fuel used). the aircraft is flown at the minimum drag speed.) Summary-Piston-Engine Range and Endurance Speeds. until the lower altitude is reached. Maximum range and maximum endurance speeds compared. 9-11. Although the drag is higher than when flying for range. Although more power is used than when flying for endurance. and Fig. • For maximum endurance. 15-5. (The aircraft remains airborne during the time in descent with less power than that needed for level flight. thus increasing the endurance. this is the speed which provides the highest ratio of TAS obtained for power applied (and therefore. gross fuel consumption is lowest (resulting in the greatest amount of time which the aircraft can remain airborne). power required for level fiight 0 best J t .

. carb.............../maximum .. (b) the mixture should be (rich/lean) with.... Flying for endurance involves ........ Th'erefore........ 9...... 8.... The best airframe efficiency (and therefore best SAR) is obtained at the lAS for minimum ... 13... for the least amount of ... To obtain maximum endurance/minimum GFC...... should be properly leaned.......... Maximum range is achieved when the greatest ........... Increased weight (reduces/has no effect on) endurance....... 6............. Principles of Flight Range and Endurance 15-11 ........ 5.. ..................................... of fuel used (e.. is flown for the least amount of . if possible..... 7.. air in (hot/ cold) and air filter out..g.. 3... distance flown per .... used..... ratio. speed.. For range.... efficiency and .................. Piston engine considerations determine that for best range: (a) (high/low) rpm and (high/low) MAP should be used....... Gross fuel consumption (GFC) is the amount of fuel (e............................................ 4....... the aircraft must be flown for the maximum product of . the aircraft is flown at the minimum ...... USG or litres) used per . The gross fuel consumption at the best endurance lAS (increases/ decreases) with altitude...... For maximum SAR........... efficiency................. Review 15 I......... 2....... For endurance....... and (c) . 15... and (c) the aircraft should be flown (below/at) the full throttle height for the power setting used..... In a strong headwind..... Specific Air Range (SAR) is defined as the .g. speed................ (b) .... Specific ground range (SGR) is the distance flown per unit quantity of fuel used. 11...... A reduction in weight will (improve/reduce) SAR........ the: (a) rpm should be the (highest/lowest) permitted in the lean range....... the best altitude for endurance is as (high/low) as practicable.. 12....... the aircraft is flown at the minimum . 14. Increased altitude (affects/does not affect) the lAS for best SAR....... .. I 0.............remaining airborne for the longest amount of . anm/USG)..... the optimum speed for best SGR (increases/ decreases) and in a strong tailwind it (increases/decreases).. should be adjusted to the minimum necessmy to maintain the required speed.. used.........

15-12 Range and Endurance The Commercial Pilot Series .

.. for example.-=====:~ . Given sufficient warning by these pressure waves of the approach of a solid body._.... .-------- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~2~ --------------~~~ -------.. it creates a series of pressure waves which we know as sound waves. to a large extent.::::::. is a little over 660 knots. more importantly. ------------------------ -------------------. These pressure waves radiate out in all directions from the aircraft at the speed of sound-which. the amount of upwash ahead of the aerofoil can be seen to increase markedly at the same moment as the flap is lowered. In subsonic flight. and the air has reacted by moving so that more of it will pass through the lower pressure area-along the path of least resistance. This behaviour of the air in reacting to the pressure wave signals sent out ahead of an aircraft can be readily demonstrated using smoke streamers in a wind tunnel. In slow-speed flight.::::::. 16-2. the faster-moving pressure (or sound) waves travel well ahead of the aircraft and forewarn of its approach. With aircraft speeds well below the speed of sound.::::::-.::-. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-1 .. under standard sea level conditions... The errors which arise from mal<ing this assumption are negligible and it greatly simplifies the treatment and handling of the subject of slow-speed flight. This characteristic enables us to consider air as being 'incompressible' when dealing with flight at speeds which are relatively low by comparison with the speed of sound. -..High Speed Flight Introduction When an aircraft moves through the air. We can hear the aircraft coming but. avoid being compressed by the body as it passes. an aerofoil with a flap is placed in a relatively slow speed airstream... the pressure wave 'signals' give the air time to react to the approach of the aircraft.. --------- -.____._' . Fig. the pressure wave 'signals' give the air time to begin moving aside to permit the passage of the aircraft with the least disturbance. ... If. 16-1. Fig. The reason is that the increase in pressure differential above and below the aerofoil has been reflected in a stronger pressure wave signal being sent forward.. the air is in effect able to begin moving 'out of the way' and.._____ . pressure waves travel ahead of the aircraft to warn of its approach._____..

• High-speed subsonic flow. we can no longer afford to ignore the effects of compressibility. the onset of these compressibility effects with the increased speed is gradual. depending on how fast the aircraft is travelling in comparison with the local speed of sound. the local speed of the flow is everywhere greater than the speed of sound. but in which nowhere around the aircraft does the local airflow exceed the local speed of sound. in addition to the changes in speed and pressure of the airflow. the pressure waves pile up on top of one another (or coalesce) and shock waves are formed. At faster speeds. • Supersonic flow. as the airflow around the aircraft is accelerated. through which sudden changes in the speed. • Transonic flow. This is the flow below about 250 knots where the air behaves for all practical purposes as if it were incompressible. In fully developed supersonic flow. This compression (and subsequent expansion) of the airflow passing the aircraft means that. some of it will reach or exceed the speed of sound. and by the formation and movement of shock waves (explained in more detail shortly). The flow pattern around the aircraft now becomes dominated by these shockwaves. This is the range in which the speed is high enough to give significant compressibility effects. it begins to 'catch up' with its own pressure wave signals through the airflow ahead of it. When it does. Approaching the speed of sound. 16-2 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . Flow Regimes The airflow and pressure patterns around an aircraft thus vary. is less able to 'move out of the way'. At speeds above about 250 knots/0·4 times the speed of sound. density and temperature of the airflow occur. pressure. 16-3. These different flow patterns can be characterized under different flow regimes (or speed ranges) as follows: • Low-speed subsonic flow. The transonic flow regime is characterized by having a mixture of subsonic and supersonic airflow. Initially. changes in the density and temperature also become important. the distance which the pressure waves are able to penetrate ahead of it is decreased. as the aircraft more closely approaches the speed of sound. However. Transonic flow tends to be unpredictable and changeable and the coefficients of lift and drag can vary considerably. the aircraft 'catches up' with is own pressure wave signals. their position becomes fixed and the airflow around the aircraft again 'settles down' and becomes more predictable. It produces the streamline and pressure patterns with which we have become familiar in the previous chapters. Fig. While fundamentally remaining the same as for low-speed subsonic flow. and hence becomes more compressed by the aircraft as it passes. the streamline and pressure patterns undergo subtle changes which we discuss in more detail later. The 'free' air ahead of the aircraft receives less and less warning of its approach. As the speed of an aircraft is increased. Although shock waves are still present.

. sound waves attenuate (weaken) with distance from their source and eventually disappear as the energy in the wave becomes spread over an ever- increasing surface. air does not become physically displaced. i. a tuning fork. it applies to that speed band where there is a mixture of subsonic and supersonic flow around the aircraft. with what is termed hypersonic flight at again higher speeds. the maximum change in pressure from static pressure. The size of a sound wave is measured by its amplitude. compression compression expansion expansion successive compressions/expansions travel at the speed of sound Fig.NOTE: In the context of high speed flight. A sound source is anything which causes air to become slightly compressed-e. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-3 . Air is resilient (springy). Sound (pressure) waves are transmitted through intermolecular collision. Successive waves of slightly compressed (higher pressure) air travel out in all directions in 'domino' fashion from the source at the speed of sound. it quickly 'springs back' and expands. we will be concentrating on the high speed subsonic and transonic regimes. These are the regimes that concern modern commercial jet transport aircraft which have cruising speeds which 'butt into' the early part of the transonic region. and so the process goes on. We will not be much concerned with supersonic flight. In this study of high speed flight. or for that matter. It should be noted that in the transmission of sound waves.. 'sonic' means 'at the speed of sound'. Sound Waves A sound-wave is a very small pressure wave (or pressure disturbance) which travels through air at a definite speed. and once compressed. The term 'transonic' literally means 'across the speed of sound' but. In this study of high speed flight we therefore turn first to look more closely at the nature of sound waves and the speed at which they travel. An average sound wave will have an amplitude of about one millionth of an atmosphere and so by any measure.e. sound waves are very small pressure disturbances..g. Its molecules vibrate about a mean position and the successive compressions and rarefactions of the wave are transmitted through intermolecular collision. In free air. Hence it follows that 'subsonic' applies to speeds below the speed of sound and 'supersonic' relates to speeds above the speed of sound. 16-4. This expansion causes the adjacent air to become compressed and it also springs back and expands . It is clear frorn the foregoing that the relationship of the speed of the airflow around the aircraft to the local speed of sound is fundamental to determining the characteristics of the flow itself.. a slow- moving aircraft. in high-speed aerodynamics. a firecracker.

16-5 shows the variation in the speed of sound in the International Standard Atmosphere. if necessary. The speed of sound varies with temperature-widely. stability and control. As just explained. in colder air. since it represents a ratio of one speed to another. as we have just seen from Fig. The temperature of any substance is a measure of the speed at which molecules in that substance vibrate and move randomly about. Although not normally required for practical flight. a need to know what the aircraft-speed is in relation to the speed of sound in that part of the atmosphere in which it is flying. The Speed of Sound The speed at which a sound wave travels. Such a speed measurement system was devised over a century ago by the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach and from his name comes the term Mach number which is the ratio of: speed of the aircraft. the air molecules become more energetic and sound waves are transmitted by adjacent molecules at a faster rate. have a significant effect on its performance. Changes in pressure and density have no effect provided the temperature remains constant. Conversely. 16-5-and therefore the TAS at which these changes occur will also vmy widely with temperature. Feet oc Knots 60 000 -56·5 573·8 50 000 -56·5 573·8 40 000 -56·5 573·8 35 000 -54-3 57~-*- 30 000 -44·4 589·6 25 000 -34·5 602·2 20 000 -24·6 614·6 15 000 -14-7 626·7 10 000 -4-8 638·6 5 000 5·1 650·3 Sea Level 15·0 661·7 Fig. manoeuvrability. 16-4 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . 16-5. With increased air temperature.. the speed of sound can be calculated by the formula: a= 39. depends only on the temperature of the air in which it is travelling.IT where a = speed of sound T =absolute temperature of the air ("C + 273) Fig. Variation of the speed of sound with altitude Mach Number The changes to the airflow and pressure patterns which occur as the TAS of an aircraft approaches the speed of sound.or of an airflow (TAS) local speed of sound (a) Mach number is designated by the letter M and. the molecules become sluggish and sound waves are transmitted at a slower rate. therefore. sound waves are transmitted through intermolecular collision. it has no units. It is emphasised that the reduction in the speed of sound with increasing altitude is solely due to the reduction in temperature. There is .

the same as. it is usual to drop the zero and express it as "point seven Mach" for 0· 7 Mach. slowed down in others. Above Mdet there is virtually no movement of the shockwaves and all local flows are supersonic (except in the lowest layers of the boundary layer and perhaps in small areas in front of the leading edges). The speed of sound may also change in various places because of the temperature changes which occur through compression or expansion. Mfs = (TAS) local speed of sound (a) Mfs is of course the Mach number of the aircraft as a whole and is also sometimes called the flight Mach number. Local Mach Number {ML) At any given Mfs. Mfs is the true Mach number of an aircraft as indicated on the Machmeter. For Mach numbers less than one. Although we may initially think that an aircraft has only one Mach number at any given time-i. for clarity. Merit will occur at a lower Mfs if the angle of attack is increased. Critical Mach Number (Merit) As Mfs increases so do some of the local Mach numbers. If the usually small instrument errors are ignored. Throughout this chapter. Hence: speed of flow at a point ML = speed of sound at the same point ML may be higher than. Merit marks the bounda1y between the subsonic and transonic speed ranges. For all the different speeds of flow around an aircraft (flows with different local true airspeeds if you like). Since there is an increase in the acceleration of the flow over the wing. The ratio of V/a is one and the aircraft will thus be flying at Mach I. there will be different Mach numbers. Mach numbers will be written as follows. the flow around an aircraft will be accelerated in some places. Consequently. but sufficiently remote to be unaffected by it. An aircraft flying at half the speed of sound has a Mach number of 0·5 and one travelling at twice the speed of sound would have a Mach number of2. That Mfs at which any ML has reached 1·0 is called the critical Mach number. there is a need to define different types of Mach number. or lower than Mfs. Detachment Mach Number (Mdet) Mdet is that Mfs at which the bow shockwave (discussed later) can for practical purposes be considered attached to the leading edge. the ratio of its TAS at that time to the local speed of sound-it is important to remember that the speed of the airflow around the aircraft is not the same at every point. 0·7M and I ·2M. Free-stream Mach Number (Mfs) Mfs is the Mach number of the flow past the aircraft.If an aircraft is flying at the local speed of sound (a). Mdet marks the boundary between the transonic and supersonic flow regimes.e. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-5 . its TAS (V) will be equal to a.

there is a significant rise in drag.> 1·0 compressible flow low high I 0·4 Merit 1-0 Mdet Mfs (fiight Mach no. Between these Mach numbers. transonic and supersonic). The subsonic range is subdivided at about 0·4M as explained previously into the low range. shock waves form and move about on the aircraft and there is a mixture of subsonic and supersonic local flows around the wings. 16-6 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . 16-6. where the effects of compressibility are negligible. and the shockwaves become more or less fixed in position. Speed Ranges We have previously described in broad terms the characteristics of the various flow regimes (subsonic. and the high range where compressibility effects become increasingly significant. due to the formation of shockwaves. <1·0 some local Mach nos. Subsonic The subsonic speed range starts at zero and has its upper limit at Merit. We are now in a position to define these speed ranges more specifically in terms of Mfs. Transonic The transonic range begins at Merit and extends up to Mdet. Speed ranges related to free-stream Mach number. 16-6.0 is reached. Supersonic Mdet. is the point where all of the main local flows become supersonic. Mcdr will usually occur at a higher flight speed than Merit and before a Mfs of 1. Remember that Merit is the Mfs at which the highest local Mach number reaches unity. The subsonic speed range contains no flow whatsoever that is at or above the speed of sound. all local Mach nos. In very general terms (and it depends on aircraft design and angle of attack) the transonic range extends from an Mfs of 0· 75M to about !·2M. the bow shockwave is considered attached to the leading edge.)--~ Fig. > 1·0 all local some< 1·0 Mach nos. which marks the beginning of the supersonic range. Critical Drag Rise Mach Number (Mcdr) Mcdr is that Mfs above which. as shown in Fig.

16-7 is representative of a source moving at high subsonic speed where the closeness of the waves is indicative of the short warning time given of the approach of the source. at a given instant in time. Pressure wave pattern from a source moving at subsonic speed. and so on. Source Moving at Sonic Speed The pattern produced when the source is moving at sonic speed is shown in Fig. In this case. I 6-8.. The numbers and the marks represent the position of the source at each of those time intervals starting with 0 (at this instant) and ·I. 2.. Each circle represents the position.Formation of Shockwaves Pressure Waves from a Moving Source Source Moving at Subsonic Speed Fig. As the Mach wave is at right angles to the direction of movement of the source the wave is called a normal Mach wave. I 6-7 shows the pattern of pressure waves from a source moving at subsonic speed. -2. -2 ·3 -4 v-+ a = speed of sound V=TAS Fig. the speed (V) of the source is the same as the speed of propagation of the waves (a). Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-7 . They are thus unable to penetrate the air ahead of the source. The distance travelled at source speed (V) is less than the distance radiated by the pressure wave at the speed of sound (a). -3. 3 time intervals ago . The pattern shown in Fig. and they 'bunch up'-or coalesce-to form a Mach wave (or Mach line). 16-7. representing its position I. This Mach wave is a formed limit to the influence of the source-the air ahead of it receives no warning of the approach of the source. of subsequent waves which originated at a regular time interval. hence the waves maintain their separation although they are closer together ahead of the source than behind it..

the more angled back will be the oblique Mach wave. Fig. Source Moving at Supersonic Speed At supersonic speeds yet another pattern is produced. 16-9 that the angle which the oblique Mach wave makes with the flight path (called the Mach angle (rn)) is given by: sin rn = a/V. 16-8. With the speed of the source (V) greater than the speed of propagation of the pressure waves. Pressure wave pattern from source moving at supersonic speed. 16-8 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . but as Mach no. 0 -2 -3 -4 a = speed of sound V=TAS Fig. 16-9. the source in effect 'leaves them behind' within a three-dimensional cone shape. the faster the source is travelling. the Mach angle is inversely proportional to the Mach number of the source. The bounda1y of the cone is formed of an oblique Mach wave. Pressure wave pattern from source moving at sonic speed. (M) = VIa . It can be seen from Fig. sin rn = 1/M In other words.

Before either can form. density and temperature. Mach number and TAS of the flow is reduced. V. if the conditions are favourable. p. Both types of shockwave are similar. A Mach wave (or line) is thus a line along which an infinitely small pressure disturbance is felt.Shockwaves The simple pressure patterns illustrated in Figs. whereas across the oblique shock. Through each type. density and temperature occur.and T. the airflow must have a Mach number of at least 1·0. 3. density and temperature are represented respectively by the symbols M. NOTES: I. density and temperature all rise- in other words. The physical changes to the airflow which occur across them are summarized in Fig. 16-7 to 16-9. TAS. the oblique shock does. 16-10. while subscripts 1 and 2 represent the flow before and after the shockwaves. In particular. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-9 . two kinds of shockwave occur-normal and oblique. 2. the Mach number may or may not be reduced to below 1·0 depending on the initial speed of the flow and the strength and angle of the shockwave. while the pressure. The significance of Mach lines will be appreciated when expansions in supersonic flow are covered later. a sudden compression of the air has taken place across the shockwave. Depending on the speed of the aircraft and its shape. normal shock oblique shock M1 >1 M2 <1 M1 >1 M2< M1 8 V1 p1 ~ V2 p2 •t 0 8 V1 p1 V2t- p2 t 0 pi p2 t pi p2 t Ti T2 t Ti T2 t Fig. through which sudden changes to the speed. pressure. The pressure change across the wave would be infinitely small and the airflow passing through the wave would be infinitesmally affected by it. like Mach waves. pressure. • the speed of the flow is always reduced to less than Mach 1·0 across a normal shock. The only differences are: • the normal shockwave does not change the direction of the flow. the airflow can expand and accelerate rapidly resulting in a reduction in pressure. The formation of shockwaves in the flow around an aircraft is more complex. but the principle of their formation remains the same as for the simple Mach waves just discussed. The physical properties of the airflow do not necessarily remain constant after passing · through the shockwave. Changes in the airflow which occur through a shockwave. a shockwave is a compression wave with a much greater amplitude. By comparison with a Mach wave. 16-10. are those which would result from an infinitely small pressure disturbance arising from a moving point source. p. Shockwaves are very thin regions (much less than 1mm across) and can be imagined as a kind of front formed in the supersonic airflow around an aircraft. Mach number.

There are two points on B . refer to Fig. By comparison with the flow over the top of the wing (along the dashed line) where expansion can take place.. A------------------------------~A1 Fig. As the flow situation is mirrored below the wing.. 16-12. As shown in Fig. These are shown as I and 2 in the diagram where the flow must turn at the leading edge and again toward the trailing edge near the separation point where the airflow must resume its freestream path. To explain these terms more fully.• 'bubble' of compressed air at higher temperature Fig. bow shockwave forms ahead of leading edge pressure waves propagate forward initially faster than Mfs 1·0 Mfs = 1·0 . dense air with its highest temperature at the stagnation point but reducing over a certain distance to ambient temperature. B . Compressive corners in the supersonic flow above a wing section. 16-13. Shockwaves form whenever a supersonic flow is required to 'turn into itself or converge at what is called a compressive corner. Formation of the bow shockwave.e. This area can be imagined as a bubble of compressed..AI. in which a supersonic flow around the upper half of a wing section is shown. A -AI represents the streamline above the wing which is sufficiently remote to be unaffected by it. 16-12). Mfs = 1·0).. Shockwaves in fully supersonic flow.BI at which the flow must turn towards the remote flow A. 16-13. The Bow Shockwave Consider a wing section which is travelling at Mach 1·0 (i. compression must occur at points I and 2-the compressive corners in the flow-and this is indeed where shockwaves form in fully supersonic flow. wake Fig. 16-10 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . ahead of the leading edge there will be an area around the stagnation point where the air (on meeting the wing) becomes highly compressed and accordingly has an increased temperature. 16-11.BI is one of the streamlines in the flow nearer the wing which is obliged to change direction to let it pass. shockwaves form in the lower flow also (Fig. 16-11. bow shockwave tail ~============::::~~-:shockwave .

Once attached (or as near as it is going to get) an increase of Mach number into the supersonic band results in the bow wave becoming more oblique. the more difficult it is for the bow wave to attach itself to the leading edge. As shown in Fig. As the flight speed is increased above Mach 1·0 the higher speed of wave propagation within the temperature bubble is partially offset by the increased speed of the aircraft. To encourage bow wave attachment-desirable to achieve stable flow and reduce supersonic drag-a sharp leading-edge radius is used for supersonic aircraft. Wing Shockwaves Wing shockwaves form first above and then below the wing. the wing shockwaves move at different rates toward the trailing edge. the greater the compression and temperature rise and consequently the higher the increase in the local speed of sound. The greater the increase in the local speed of sound. When the deflection angle is reduced. They therefore coalesce at the edge of the temperature 'bubble' and a normal shockwave is formed which 'stands off ahead of the leading edge. supersonic M1 > 1·0 Fig. The blunter the leading edge. they slow up to the same speed as the oncoming air. the wave will in theory attach itself to the leading edge. However. 16-14. 16-14. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-11 . as the temperature drops to ambient. The stand off distance of the bow shock is accordingly reduced and it begins to bend back and become more oblique at the top and bottom. once it is reduced to subsonic speed by the shockwave. However. The bow shockwave and streamlines at higher Mach numbers The ability of the bow wave to attach is basically determined by the shape of the aerofoil and the amount of deflection required to split the airflow to enable it to pass above and below the wing. After forming at about mid section. there will always be a small area of subsonic flow ahead of the leading edge regardless of the flight speed. and in reality it will stand off slightly in front of a small leading edge area of subsonic flow at all speeds. the flow behind the normal part of the bow shockwave is subsonic and unchanged in direction by the shockwave itself. Unless the wing has a leading edge which is 'razor sharp' this means that in practice. eventually joining there to form the tail shockwave. the pressure waves from the leading edge propagate ahead initially at a speed which is higher than the speed at which the wing is travelling (Mfs = 1·0). it is then free to accelerate rapidly once again to supersonic speed. Remember that the speed at which this occurs is defined as Mdet.As the speed of sound is proportional to temperature. When the Mfs becomes equal to the speed of propagation. well before the bow wave appears. the air is able to negotiate the leading edge in the usual way as a subsonic flow. Most aerofoil shapes do not allow the bow wave to attach.

This pressure disturbance is then felt along a Mach line with an angle (m) which depends on the Mach number of the flow (the higher the Mach number. 16-16. during manoeuvring. Refer back to Fig.g. thickening the boundary layer and creating a further compressive corner. At that point the upper shockwave tends to become anchored for a time at about 70o/o chord. As shown in Fig. The pressure waves emanating from the 'compressive corner' located near the separation point. Fig. named for its resemblance to the Greek letter lambda (A. will result in increased flow acceleration (for a given Mfs) and result in the formation of shockwaves at even lower Mfs values. and then later below. e. Small oblique shockwaves emanating from this compressive corner merge with the main shockwave resulting in a lambda foot. Note how. 16-15 shows a diagram of upper and lower wing shockwaves at a representative subsonic flight Mach number (about Mfs 0·85 for that wing section).AI. the smaller the angle). The formation of wing shockwaves can be delayed by using a thinner wing section which reduces the flow acceleration while highly cambered sections encourage their formation at lower speeds. where the changes to the flow are infinitely small. the direction of the streamline is gradually and smoothly turning away from the remote airflow A. As Merit is passed. moves more quickly back toward the leading edge lambda foot normal supersonic shockwave Fig. the wing. travel forward along the wing. Expansion Waves Whenever a supersonic flow is able to turn away from itself-or diverge-it will expand and accelerate. part of which is still subsonic. 16-12 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . wing shockwaves will form well below an Mfs of 1·0 and they are common above an Mfs of 0·85. At the base of the shockwave is the boundary layer. they are unable to proceed any further fmward and coalesce to form a shockwave. On meeting the supersonic flow. As there is less acceleration below the lower surface and less flow breakaway. accelerates and the pressure decreases.). a convex upper surface of a wing can be considered as an infinite number of small steps called expansive corners. This slower moving flow in the boundary layer enables the pressure rise at the shockwave to be communicated fmward. expansion is taking place. between points I and 2. 16-15. 16-11. the flow expands. a bubble of supersonic flow appears above. the lower shockwave forms later. Immediately the particles in the flow adjacent to the surface reach the corner. Consider the two streamlines in the supersonic flow as they reach each corner. normal shockwave Depending on wing section and angle of attack. as a result. Any increase in angle of attack. once formed. is weaker than the upper and. In this area above the wing. In direct contrast to compression in a supersonic flow-which takes place suddenly (almost explosively) across a shockwave-expansion occurs through an infinite number of Mach lines. they are 'given more room' and. Typical wing Mfs=0·85- shockwaves. Wing shockwaves form for the same reason as the bow wave. This interaction between the shockwave and boundary layer results in boundary layer separation from the base of the shockwave leading to the development of a thicker turbulent wake.

even around a relatively sharp corner. and the pressure is suddenly increased. The expansion and acceleration in the successive streamlines of the flow is such that it can conform with the change in direction of the surface. M1 > 1·0 Fig. and the pressure. density and temperature decrease. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-13 . we can summarize the nature of supersonic flow as follows: Where the flow is required to converge (or turn towards itself). The particles in this streamline also then expand and accelerate. such as depicted in the lower diagram of Fig. boundary layer thickening and flow breakaway. 16-16. During an expansion. the angle (m) of each successive Mach line is decreased and they therefore fan out. it expands. This is exactly the opposite to subsonic flow where a sharp corner would result in an adverse pressure gradient. The streamline further away from the surface is unaware of the corner until it reaches the Mach line originating at the corner. the velocity of the flow is reduced through the shockwaves caused by convergency. The process is repeated at each expansive corner. This compression occurs across a shockwave where suddenly. compression takes place. Consequently. Where the flow is able to diverge (or turn away from itself). Supersonic flow around expansive corners. This expansion of the flow takes place smoothly and gradually through expansion waves (or fans) which are the direct antithesis of shockwaves. This Mach line represents a 'front' through which there is an infinitely small drop in pressure. It can be seen that the characteristics of supersonic flow are completely different from subsonic flow. there is no objection to such corners on aircraft designed primarily for supersonic flight. This results in a smooth expansion and acceleration. Note that as the Mach number is increasing. the velocity of the airflow increases. density and temperature increased. 16-16. the velocity of the flow is decreased. in an area of divergency. The decrease in pressure around an expansive corner in supersonic flow provides a favourable pressure gradient and allows an attached boundary layer to be maintained. The Nature of Supersonic Flow From the foregoing. and its pressure. in supersonic flow. Conversely. Whereas the velocity of subsonic flow increases where it converges (and the pressure reduces accordingly).

[The design of ducts (diffusers and nozzles) for various types of supersonic flow is complex. 16-14 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . 16-1 7 summarizes and compares the different characteristics of subsonic and supersonic flow.:. Fig.0 compression through expansion through shockwave(s) expansion waves Fig. ::. The lower diagram shows an 'idealized' supersonic flow through the same duct. 16-18 illustrates the difference between subsonic 'incompressible' flow and supersonic 'compressible' flow through a convergent/divergent duct. 'Idealized' in the sense that such flow is dominated by the formation and positioning of shockwaves which depends to a large extent on the speed of the flow and the shape of the duct. You will be familiar with the top diagram showing the conditions for subsonic flow through a venturi. Comparison between subsonic and supersonic flow characteristics. Subsonic and supersonic flow through a convergent/divergent duct. ~· w Convergent Divergent Subsonic vt Pt P't vt Pt P*t Supersonic vt Pt Pt vt Pt Pt thru shockwave *NOTE: at low subsonic speeds.. these changes are so small as to be negligible Fig. The table at Fig.. subsonic 'incompressible' flow speed increasing speed decreasing pressure reducing pressure increasing -------- --------=-------. and beyond the scope of this manual]. whereas supersonic flow accelerates and its pressure reduces.:.0 -------- ------------------------ -------------------------- -------------------------- ------ ----------=--------------- constant density supersonic 'compressible' flow speed decreasing speed increasing pressure increasing pressure decreasing density increasing density decreasing M > 1. subsonic flow slows down and its pressure rises.--- -.:: ---------------- -------- M < 1. 16-18. 16-17.

in the high-subsonic speed range. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-15 . either in forming or moving.--------+----. the CL settles down and once again becomes predictable. particularly where the aerofoil is not one designed for high speed. 16-17 and 16-18 is that the characteristics of subsonic and supersonic flow are reversed insofar as convergency/divergency are concerned: • Where the streamlines converge. As a result. c 1+---. In supersonic flow. Note that subsonic and supersonic flow are similar in one important aspect. I I I 0-4 Merit Mdet Fig. In supersonic flow. creates significant changes in the flow which varies the CL. That is. These effects are described in the following paragraphs with reference to the various points marked on the above graph. and its pressure reduces. the opposite occurs-the flow slows down. 16-19. subsonic flow-which we take to be incompressible-speeds up and the pressure reduces.The important thing to note from Figs. Fig. It does however se1ve to demonstrate clearly the effects of compressibility on lift. that where the flow is accelerated the pressure reduces.supersonic I I I transonic ---+. The Effects of Compressibility on Lift As mentioned earlier. and its pressure rises. the air compresses. When the flow becomes fully supersonic above Mdet. these changes can lead to stability and control problems. Thus an aerofoil which is able to produce a greater acceleration of the flow over its upper surface will produce lift regardless of whether that flow is subsonic or supersonic. subsonic flow slows down and its pressure rises. the position of the shockwaves becomes fixed. • Where the streamlines diverge. B A I I I I D I E r---. The changes in lift in the transonic region (discussed in more detail shortly) are so large that this section would not be suitable for transonic/supersonic flight. the presence of shockwaves. Variation of CL with Mach number at a constant angle of attack. compressibility effects bring about subtle changes to the streamline and pressure patterns around an aerofoil. In the transonic range. the coefficient of lift (Cd is increased for a constant angle of attack. the opposite occurs-the air speeds up through expansion.. --T------~-- 1 1 !+-----:: subsonic _ ___. In extreme cases. 16-19 shows the variation of CL with Mach number at a constant angle of attack for a subsonic aerofoil with a thickness/chord ratio of 12%.

Leading up to Point A (Fig. 16-20). Above 0·4 M, the effect of compressibility on lift becomes
significant. With less warning time of the approach of the aircraft, the streamline pattern is
changed at high-subsonic speeds to that shown in the diagram. The change in upwash
ahead of the wing is more abrupt, leading to an effective increase in angle of attack. In
addition, the streamlines above the wing are closer together. Both of these factors lead to an
increase in lift which (for a given angle of attack) is more than proportional to V2 ; i.e. there is
an increase in CL.

Fig. 16-20. Changes to the streamline pattern at high subsonic speed.

Point A - Point B (Fig. 16-21). Merit is reached at point A. Beyond Merit a bubble of
supersonic flow begins to expand above the upper surface. At this early stage in the
development of supersonic flow, only very weak shockwaves (or compression waves called
'whiskers') form inside this bubble and, as they have little effect in retarding the airflow over
the upper surface, the CL continues to increase for a while after Merit is passed.

supersonic 'whiskers'
'bubble'

subsonic subsonic

Merit + ______.....

Fig. 16-21. Past Merit, a bubble of supersonic flow begins to expand over the upper surface.

Point B (Fig. 16-22). The 'whiskers' are swept together to form the upper shockwave. As it
strengthens, the pressure gradient becomes more adverse: the boundaty layer thickens and
the separation point moves fon.Yard. As a result, the CL begins to decrease. This loss of lift
from point B-which is typical for an aerofoil of this type-is sometimes called the 'shock
stall' (explained in more detail shortly).

supersonic flow
moving back

r sep<>ration point moving forward

Mfs=O·S-+

Fig. 16-22. CL reduces once the top shockwave forms.

16-16 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series

Point C (Fig. 16-23). The upper shockwave has strengthened and become
anchored at about 70o/o chord. The lower shockwave has formed and moved
rapidly to the trailing edge. Under these conditions, there is high pressure above
and lower pressure below the rear part of the wing, and lift is lost as a result.
Consequently, the CL is substantially reduced by comparison with the basic
subsonic value.

Mfs=0·89-

Fig. 16-23. Flow conditions at point C.

Point D (Fig. 16-24). The top shockwave moves to the rear of the wing which
now means that most of the wing is bathed in supersonic flow. The size of the
wake is restored to approximately that which existed prior to the shockwaves
forming. With these improvements in the flow, the CL is also restored to slightly
above the basic subsonic value.

Mfs=0·98-

Fig. 16-24. Flow conditions at point D.

Point E (Fig. 16-25). The bow shockwave has now formed. As the flow behind
the bow wave (which is the flow over the wing producing lift) has had its energy
reduced by the shockwave, the CL is once again reduced.

supersonic supersonic

subsonic

Fig. 16-25. Flow conditions at poinf E.

Beyond Point E. All shockwaves become more oblique and the bow wave will
almost attach to the leading edge. Although the flow is stable and the CL
relatively steady, by about Mfs 1·4, it is reduced to about 70o/o of its basic
subsonic value for that angle of attack.

Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-17

The Shock Stall

Referring back to Fig. 16-19, note the significant peak in the CL Clllve which
occurs at a speed which is a little beyond Merit for this type of (basically
subsonic) aerofoil. As we have seen from Figs. 16-22 and 23, the reason for this
sudden drop in CL is the formation of the shockwave over the upper surface of
the wing. At the same time, the positioning of this 'top' shockwave over the
upper surface, causes the turbulent wake behind the wing to be much thicker
than it is at higher or lower speeds.
These two effects-a relatively sudden loss of lift accompanied by airframe
buffeting resulting from the thick turbulent wake-cause the aircraft to react in a
very similar manner to the low speed/high angle-of-attack stall, hence the term
'shock stall'. In transonic/supersonic aircraft, these effects of the shock stall can
virtually be eliminated by good design.

The Effects of Compressibility on Drag
The main effects of compressibility on drag arise from the formation of
shockwaves in the transonic region. This type of drag is called wave drag or
Mach drag and it is made up of the drag from two separate sources-energy
drag and boundary layer separation.

Energy Drag
As the airflow crosses a shockwave, energy is required to provide the
temperature rise, and this energy demand is placed on the aircraft in the form of
increased drag. This increase in drag is exerted on the aerofoil through the
rearward facing surfaces experiencing a greater reduction in pressure than the
forward facing, once the shockwaves have formed. Normal shockwaves
generate more wave drag because the temperature rise across them is
proportionally higher. The more oblique the shockwaves are, the less energy
they absorb, but because they become more extensive laterally and affect a
greater volume of air, the energy drag rises as Mfs increases.
Boundary Layer Separation
At certain stages of the development and movement of the wing shockwaves,
there is considerable flow separation-refer back again to Figs. 16-22 and 23. At
these points in the development of transonic flow, the thick turbulent wake
increases the drag considerably. As both shockwaves then move to the trailing
edge, the size of the wake reduces again, and so does the drag arising from
boundary layer separation.
Taken together, these two I
sources of drag-energy drag I
I
and boundary layer I
separation-modify the drag boundary layer
1
1parasite

curve as shown in Fig. 16-26. separation drag 1 drag
D I

energy drag
Fig. 16-26.
The effect of wave drag.

Mfs

16-18 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series

This change in the drag characteristics (called the transonic drag hump) is also
reflected in the curve of Co against Mach number.

Fig. 16-27.
Variation of Co with Mach number
at constant angle of attack
Mach
Merit Mcdr number

NOTES:

I. In the high subsonic range, there is little change in Co until Merit is reached.

2. At Merit, there is only a small increase in C0 . At slightly higher Mach number,
in concert with the formation of the upper shockwave, there is a significant
increase in C0 . This is the critical drag rise Mach number (Mcdr), sometimes
also called the drag divergence Mach number.

3. The peak in Co occurs at about M 1·0 where, although the contribution of
boundary layer separation is reducing, that of energy drag is increasing with the
formation of the bow wave above M I ·0.

4. Above Mdet, the Co settles at a value which is approximately 1·5 times the
low subsonic value at the same angle of attack.

Control at High Speed
Longitudinal Control
As most aircraft enter the transonic speed range they experience a nose-down
trim change (called 'Mach tuck') which is caused by two factors:

• The rearward movement of the centre of pressure. Before Merit is reached,
the CP will probably lie at about 20-25% chord (depending on wing section).
Through the transonic range, the CP moves rea1ward as (with the rearward
spread of supersonic flow) pressures beyond the point of maximum
thickness continue to decrease and the rear part of the wing makes an
increased contribution to lift. When the flow is fully supersonic, the CP will
have typically shifted to be at about 50% chord. This rearward movement of
the CP can cause a significant nose-down pitch.

• A reduction of downwash on the tailplane. As the wing shockwaves form
and strengthen, there will generally be increased flow separation,
particularly behind the upper shockwave. For most aircraft with a
conventional tailplane configuration, the flow separation has the effect of
reducing the downwash over the tailplane which effectively increases its
angle of attack, resulting in a nose-down pitch.

Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-19

If uncorrected, the nose-down pitching moment will cause increased
acceleration, the Mach number will increase and the aircraft will pitch even
more nose-down. Alternatively, if the pilot corrects by applying up elevator (to
hold the same nose attitude) this can easily lead to an inadvertent increase in
angle of attack-and an acceleration in the formation of the shockwaves and the
ensuing nose-down pitch.

This destabilizing nature of the nose-down trim change places a very real limit to
the Mach number to which an aircraft can be safely flown and is normally the
basis for establishing an aircraft's maximum operating Mach number (MMo).
This is the 'red line' Mach number on the combined airspeed/Mach indicator. In
some aircraft, where cruise at higher Mach numbers may be desired to take
advantage of favourable drag figures, MMo may be increased by installing a
'Mach trimmer' which is simply a Mach sensitive device which automatically
deflects the tailplane or elevator slightly more than is needed to counter the
nose-down pitch. The reason for the 'over-deflection' is so that positive
longitudinal stability is maintained and the aircraft must still be trimmed nose-
down as speed increases.

MMo for an aircraft also takes account of the Mach number at which shockwave
intensity will cause enough separated flow to reduce elevator effectiveness, or
cause control 'buzz', or both. This control 'buzz' will become control buffet if the
aircraft is accelerated further and is formally termed high-speed buffet.
Eventually, the buffet leads to loss of elevator control. In the early days of high-
subsonic speed flight, many aircraft experienced this high-speed buffet by
inadvertently accelerating beyond MMo in turbulence and then wrongly
mistaking the buffet for low speed pre-stall buffet. Similarly, aircraft in high-
speed descents with speed brakes deployed (which produce buffet) have flown
fast enough to get high-speed buffet, but it has not been identified due to the
masking effect of the speed brakes.

push
50

25
stick
force 0 1--"'T---r----.----,,--'""---,---,---,-----,-----
(!bs) ·90 Mach number
25

50
pull

push Mach trim input~/----,
50
/
/ ''
/ '\
25 ~--«:_· ----~----~~~---~
/
stick

·90 Mach number
25

50
pull

Fig. 16-28. Change in stick force with Mach number
and resultant force with Mach trimmer.

16-20 H(gh Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series

If an aircraft is trimmed for a given cruise speed and accelerated, a progressive
push force on the elevator is required to maintain the initial pitch attitude,
assuming the elevator trim is not used. However, as already described, at higher
Mach numbers, the aircraft becomes progressively subject to a nose-down pitch.
Consequently, as Mach number is increased, the elevator push force
progressively changes to a pull force to maintain the set pitch attitude. Fig. !6-28
illustrates the change in stick force required for a typical subsonic wing/tailplane
combination, as the aircraft is accelerated.

To solve this confusing control problem, aircraft designed to operate at high
subsonic cruise speeds but which have wing sections not fully optimized for
transonic flight, are fitted with a 'Mach trimmer' as mentioned previously. The
Mach trimmer provides a control input in the opposite direction to the nose-
down pitch, of sufficient magnitude to still require a progressive increase in
elevator push force as Mach number is increased. The lower diagram in Fig. 16-
28 shows the result of Mach trim input.

Lateral Control
Disturbances in the rolling plane are often experienced with aerofoil sections not
designed for transonic flight by unequal formation of shockwaves on either wing.
Apart from the different amount of lift available from each wing (causing
uninvited roll), the formation of shockwaves can result in loss of aileron
effectiveness through flow separation ahead of the aileron surface. To
overcome this problem at high subsonic speeds, in many aircraft the outboard
ailerons are disengaged (or faired) for high-speed flight and lateral control is
achieved through the use of spoilers or a combination of spoilers and inboard
ailerons. As shockwave formation normally occurs first on the outboard sections
of the wings, inboard ailerons are less subject to the effects of compressibility.
Where combined inboard ailerons/spoilers are employed, the ailerons will
normally be used alone to provide low rates of roll, with the spoilers deploying
automatically when a higher rate of roll is demanded.

The use of spoilers and/or inboard ailerons at high speed also provides a solution
to the problem where, for example, the upward force generated by the
downgoing (outboard) aileron tends to cause the outer wing to twist nose-down
about its torsional axis-resulting in a decreased angle of attack and a roll in the
opposite direction to that demanded. As described in Chapter 7, this effect is
known as aileron reversal. As they are attached to a thicker and stiffer part of
the wing, any twisting moment caused by inboard ailerons is more easily
resisted and, because of their action and positioning, spoilers do not produce a
twisting moment.

Directional Control
As with other control surfaces, the rudder will normally have reduced
effectiveness in the transonic range, when shockwaves form ahead of the main
hinge line. Some modem high-speed fighter aircraft, required to manoeuvre in
the transonic region, are fitted with an all-moving slab fin. However, for
transport aircraft designed for high-subsonic speed cruise, a conventional fin/
rudder combination is retained so that slow speed directional stability
requirements are satisfied.

The use of rudder at high speeds near Mcdr can result in a yaw in the opposite
direction. Application of the rudder will cause one wing to travel faster than the
other which drives it further into the high-speed flow regime with a resulting
increase in drag. This increase in drag will result in a yaw in the opposite

Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-21

Design for High Speed Flight There is a need with modern transport aircraft to cruise at the highest possible subsonic speed with the best possible economy-i. has much lower local Mach numbers. The Co curves in Fig. the intensity of the shockwaves is reduced which in turn reduces the amount of boundary layer separation and the amount of total drag generated when Mcdr is reached.e. 16-29 demonstrate the benefits of a low t/c ratio in terms of the delay to Mcdr and reduction in total drag. 12% tic ' /'"- / 1 '-?%tic ------~~ : ------- 1 I ' I I I I ~ 1·0 Mach Fig.---- 1 ---~---. With a low t/c ratio. Wing Thickness/Chord Ratio One of the biggest obstacles to cruising efficiently at high Mach number. thus delaying Merit and with it. 16-30. the drag penalties will also be reduced. It is therefore essential to be able to cruise at the highest possible Mach number before the effects of the drag rise at Mcdr are felt. Effect of thickness/chord ratio on CL. 16-22 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . Mcdr.. 16-29. ---. The following are the main design features employed to achieve this. and/or the shockwave strength can be reduced.---:::-::. all aircraft designed for high speed/high altitude flight employ a yaw damper which rigidly monitors directional control requirements and provides very small inputs of rudder at the earliest possible stage when required. If the onset of shockwave formation can be delayed. Effect of thickness/chord ratio on Co. the airflow over the top surface at the cruise angle of attack. As a result of this sensitivity to yaw control at high Mach number. In the earliest days of design research for high speed flight. it was found that a wing with low thickness/chord (tic) ratio had much better drag characteristics than one of high t/c ratio. In addition. Mcdr Mcdr number at 12% at 7% I I I 12% tic '. is the drag associated with flow separation behind a strong shockwave. having the least drag possible at the desired cruising speed so that the fuel burn is minimized. I I r---- I I : [ : 7%Vc- I I I I l I Merit Merit 1·0 Mdet Mdet 12% 7% 7% 12% Mfs Fig. direction to that demanded.

reducing the wake and the drag. Following the first exploratory flights to high Mach numbers in the late !940' s. This provides increased lift from the lower surface. and also helps to stabilize the trailing-edge flow. 26-32. In addition. including the Boeing 767/777. the undersurface of the supercritical section has a pronounced 'reflex camber' over about the rear 30%.e. A number of modern aircraft have this type of wing section. 12% 15% conventional supercritical section section Fig. A supercritical wing section provides an increased efficient cruising speed before Mcdr is reached while retaining a relatively high CLmax for good low speed performance. 16-30 shows how rapid transonic changes in lift can be avoided with obvious advantages in longitudinal control and stability. Typical supercritical aerofoil shape. when the shockwaves form. The flattened upper surface reduces the amount of lift which would be available from a wing built with this section. it was soon discovered that wing sweep had a significant effect in delaying the formation of shockwaves and allowing higher speeds to be achieved. High-lift devices (leading and trailing edge flaps etc) must be used to achieve reasonable approach speeds and landing distances. With a much lower CLmax these 'thin' wings have stalling speeds which are much higher than for a high t/c wing and the stall tends to be more sudden. A comparison between what we could consider to be a more conventional aerofoil shape and the the supercritical aerofoil is depicted in Fig. Additional advantage is gained by its relatively high t/c ratio providing sufficient depth for lighter-weight construction and more room for carriage of fuel etc. The flatter upper surface of the supercritical aero foil reduces the acceleration of the top surface airflow and thus delays Merit to a higher figure. in the wings. the lifting capability of a low t/c ratio wing is also reduced throughout the transonic range by comparison with the thicker wing.Low t/c ratio wings also give significant improvements in stability and control through the transonic range. Principles of Flight High Speed Flight 16-23 . Note however that. 'thin') wing section. Although low t/c wings offer advantages for transonic/supersonic flight. they have significant disadvantages for slow speed flight. This extends the gap to Mcdr and improves the transonic drag rise characteristics. Supercritical Wing Section The supercritical aerofoil was first developed in 1965 with the purpose of increasing the value of Mcdr but without incurring the penalty of a reduced CLmax which is brought by a low t/c (i. The CL curve at Fig. as for slow-speed flight. To compensate. 26-32. Sweepback A brief consideration of all modern transport aircraft designed for high speed cruise would indicate that wing sweep is an essential design feature of such aircraft. they are weaker than for the conventional aerofoil.

as shown in Fig. a much higher value of Mfs (V in the diagram) can be flown before V1 reaches an ML of 1·0. 0 = angle of sweep if V = Merit (straight) V1=Vcose (a lower speed) / / / '' I \ v V2 = component of V parallel to leading edge I \ I \ I I / I // I// / Fig. Thus it it this component of flow across the wing which dete1mines the value of Merit and Mcdr. is that Mcdr is delayed and a higher economical cruising speed can be obtained. 16-33. Comparison of straight and swept wing CL curves. is to consider the wing section which lies across the wing at V1 in the above diagram. 16-33 shows a wing which is swept back at an angle relative to the lateral axis of the aircraft. The great advantage of wing sweep for high-speed transport aircraft. 16-34. but when viewed at a right angle to V- the actual direction of the freestream airflow-the effective t/c ratio is much lower. The effect of sweep back on Merit. it is the component V1 which is responsible for determining the pressure pattern developed by the wing. The use of sweepback to obtain this advantage. Since the flow component V2 has no effect on the flow across the wing. so delaying the formation of shockwaves. Disadvantages of Sweepback straight swept Fig. however. Another simple way of looking at it. these are: 16-24 High Speed Flight The Commercial Pilot Series . then the amount of lift developed at any given swept-wing section is lower than for the same TAS with no sweep. which the designer must be careful to overcome. and that is less than theTAS (V). Because it is the component of TAS at right angles to the leading edge (V1) which determines the amount of lift at that section. the CLmax for a given aerofoil is less for a swept wing than for a straight wing. In summary. Fig. Consequently. 16-34. That wing section has a certain t/c ratio. and the slope of the CL cmve is lower. The TAS vector (V) can be resolved into one component at a right angle to the leading edge and the other parallel to the leading edge CV2l. has a tendency to create several undesirable handling characteristics. Consequently.

4. pV') is obtained by. C remains constant regardless of distance from the centre of the earth. D is measured by mass times velocity. D static pressure remains constant at all points in the flow. B where the speed is decreased. 3. B it has higher inertia. D is at constant velocity and is accelerating. C is accelerating because it is changing direction. In accordance with Bernoulli's Theorem. D its kinetic energy has decreased. in a streamline flow of air around an aerofoil at low subsonic speed: A where the speed is increased. If an aircraft lands at normal weight but at a faster speed than normal. the static pressure is decreased. B is the force produced when a mass is acted upon by gravitational attraction. 5. it will be more difficult to bring to a stop because: A of its greater momentum. the static pressure is increased. B is in equilibrium and thus not accelerating. C where the speed is increased. C the wheels have less traction with the runway. 1-2 Appendix The Commercial Pilot Series . The physical property of weight: A is the same as mass. Sample Examination Part I Principles of Flight I. 2. C subtracting total pressure from pilot pressure. the static pressure is decreased. B adding static pressure and total pressure. Dynamic pressure (Y. since its speed is steady. An aircraft in a level turn at constant speed: A is not accelerating. A subtracting static pressure from total pressure. D measuring the pressure in the pilot tube.

passing the stalling angle. Some wings are designed with washout in order to: A prevent stalling from the wingroots first. C avoid wingtip stalling. 8. D has a lower thickness/chord ratio. B reduce the effects of adverse yaw. TAS. B moves fmward as angle of attack is increased until. D the upper flow in the boundary layer mixes with the lower flow and re-energises it. B the lower flow in the boundary layer is brought to a stop and begins to reverse. When an aerofoil is at the angle of attack for best lift/drag ratio. I 0. density and velocity. B stalls at a higher angle of attack. D improve lateral stability. it moves to the rear. C increases until the stalling angle is reached where it suddenly tilts to the rear. D at a right angle to the effective airflow. 7. 9. wing area.6. a wing of high aspect ratio: A produces lift more efficiently. shape and condition of the aerofoil. D moves forward as airspeed is increased and rearward as it is decreased. Principles of Flight Appendix 1-3 . Separation of a streamlined airflow around an aero foil occurs when: A the boundary layer changes from laminar to turbulent flow. C is not as efficient in producing lift. The centre of pressure of a cambered aerofoil: A remains at about the mid-chord position over the normal operating angle of attack range. C the boundary layer flow meets an adverse pressure gradient. the total reaction is: A as near to a right angle to the relative airflow as it can be. B angle of attack. C parallel with the relative airflow. angle of attack. D size and shape of the aerofoil. II. The coefficient of lift incorporates the following factors: A angle of attack. B at a right angle to the relative airflow. By comparison with a wing of low aspect ratio. C angle of attack.

........... 1-4 Appendix The Commercial Pilot Series .......... axis is called .......... : A longitudinal yaw rudder... C normal roll aileron..... C down............. C reduce adverse yaw.. D adjust the ease with which a control can be moved in flight.. D across... which is controlled through the use of . 13.. B prevent a control from running to full deflection when moved........ and the stalling angle of attack is ...e.. B normal yaw rudder... 15.... to relieve forward stick pressure) the trailing edge of the trim tab moves: A up... induced drag: A remains constant.. D reduces until the speed for minimum drag is reached....... the coefficient of lift is . Choose the selection of words that correctly completes the following statement..... In straight and level flight.. 12. B reduced increased.... B increases as lAS is increased... the primary purpose of aerodynamic balancing is to: A trim out the stick forces............ then increases again.. .... c increased reduced... 16. D increased increased.... Movement of an aircraft about its ... If the elevator trim control is moved fmward (i.. D lateral pitch flaps. C decreases as lAS is increased.... B back... : A reduced reduced. When trailing edge flaps are lowered. Choose the selection of words that correctly completes the following statement............ 14..

. 19..... In a steady climb at a constant lAS: A the forces are not in equilibrium..... be increased.. B the forces are in equilibrium. c increased... since lift must be greater than the weight.. C the angle of climb is the steepest.. B at the speed for best lift/drag ratio. C at the minimum thrust speed. the forward component of weight balances the drag. the stalling speed will be . with the resultant of lift and thrust balancing the resultant of weight and drag.... If the load factor on an aircraft is increased.. Maximum rate of climb is achieved at theTAS where: A there is the greatest excess of lift over weight.. B there is the greatest excess of thrust available... 0 at a lower speed than the minimum drag speed..... the least amount of power is required for steady straight and level flight: A at the minimum drag speed. Choose the selection of words that correctly completes the following statement.... In a glide at constant lAS: A weight is balanced by the resultant of lift and drag. In a piston-engined aircraft. C lift must be greater than weight. B decreased remain the same... thrust must be greater than drag. 20. 21. and the stalling angle of attack will ... 0 there is the greatest excess of power available... B lift must be equal and opposite to weight... 18.. C weight is greater than the resultant of lift and drag. Principles of Flight Appendix 1-5 .17.. : A increased remain the same.... D there must be an excess of power required over power available.. D lift equals weight.... 0 increased be reduced.......

B propeller torque has increased. stable in pitch and the elevator 'stick force' will be ... B Radius and rate both remain exactly the same.... 24.. B less lighter. rpm will decrease because: A propeller torque has decreased. C the angle of attack of the propeller has been decreased.... Assuming constant weight..... B above which.. If an aircraft is displaced in yaw and a skid develops... 26. is the speed: A which should never be exceeded in any circumstances.. 22... 25.. .. an aircraft will be .. 1-6 Appendix The Commercial Pilot Series ... An aircraft is in a balanced 30' bank level turn at I .000 ft and an lAS of 120 knots. B cause roll in the opposite direction as the yaw.. If its centre of gravity is moved to the aft limit.. c have no effect on roll..... dihedral will: A cause roll in the same direction as the yaw. D prevent further yaw.. D below which the aircraft cannot be stalled.... c Radius increases rate decreases. but at 8. In an aircraft with a fixed-pitch propeller... D less heavier... C should be exceeded only in smooth air conditions.. Choose the selection of words that correctly completes the following statement. Design manoeuvring speed 0/A). D there is decreased slippage. c more lighter.. A more heavier..... what happens to the radius and rate of turn if the aircraft is flown in a turn at exactly the same bank angle and lAS....... 23..... D Radius and rate both increase... if speed is decreased at a constant throttle setting. it is possible to exceed 'g' limitations when manoeuvring.000 ft? A Radius decreases rate remains constant.

An operator under CAR Part 135 is required to ensure that for landing. B the length of runway declared by the aerodrome operator as available and suitable for the ground run of an aeroplane taking off. 34. The take-off distance required (TODR) is defined as: A the speed which gives an adequate margin above the stalling speed in the take-off configuration. D the distance required to take-off from a standing start at maximum take-off power and reach a given screen height above the nmway at the take-off safety speed. B make a full-stop landing from 50 ft above the runway threshold within 85% of the landing distance available. D 5·5'. land within the landing distance declared available for that runway. 1-8 Appendix The Commercial Pilot Series . D 3670 ft. B minus 170 ft. 32. D from 50 ft above the runway threshold. what is the aerodrome pressure altitude? A 1270 ft. B 4%. C make a full-stop landing from 50 ft above the runway threshold within 115% of the landing distance available. Part II Performance 31. 33. using maximum braking. using maximum braking. C the length of ground run required by an aeroplane when taking off from a standing start at maximum take-off power. QNH 1029 hPa. c 2230 ft. the aeroplane will be able to: A land inside the runway threshold and come to a stop within the landing distance available. A close approximation of its climb gradient with respect to the ground is: A 4'·. If the aerodrome elevation is 1750 ft. c 5·5%. An aeroplane is climbing at 600 fVmin into a headwind of 10 knots and at an lAS of 120 knots.

but there will be no change in its ability to turn....e.... C turning performance will be improved. engine the critical engine to have fail. B an upward force... service ceiling and turning ability will all be improved... D lAS increases. B right right..Performance begins on the following page. the centre of pressure is behind the centre of gravity...... D left right.. but without increasing its drag or basic weight: A its climb performance and service ceiling will be improved. TAS remains constant... as it will taken care of by longitudinal dihedral.27... there is no thrust/drag couple).. D there will be no change in performance as the weight has been unchanged..) Principles of Flight Appendix 1-7 . TAS increases. both wing-mounted engines rotate clockwise when viewed from the rear. The best range speed (still air) is the speed for minimum drag... at high angles of attack.. C lAS remains constant....... Asymmetric blade effect will offset the thrust lines of the engines to the ... c left left. (Part II . 29.. In a certain twin-engine aircraft.. 28. C no force. A right left... but the lines of thrust and drag coincide (i. the best range: A lAS decreases. At cruising speed in a certain aircraft..... B lAS and TAS both increase. D a downward force.. 30. making the . B its climb performance. but not the climb or service ceiling.... If a certain aircraft is fitted with a more powerful engine.. In order to prevent the nose pitching up or down. If altitude is increased.. Choose the selection of words that correctly completes the following statement.. the tailplane must provide: A a force which will depend on where the elevator trim is set. TAS remains constant.

the use of such a calculator will be of some assistance to finding the answers to some of them. only one of the choices (A. The format and style of the questions are similar to those employed for the examinations by Aviation Services Limited (ASL).a choice which may seem at first sight to be correct. Appendix 1 Sample Examination This appendix contains a sample examination paper. It is suggested that you allow yourself two hours to complete the paper. It is in two parts: Part I - Principles of Flight. you should have no difficulty in answering the questions in the sample examination. NOTES ON MULTI-CHOICE QUESTIONS Multi-choice questions are made up of a 'stem' and a number of choices. Look out for the 'poisoned lolly' . at Appendix2. but which in fact is close to the correct answer or just 'sounds right'. leave the question and return to it if there is time at the end. Then examine the choices and select the one which coincides with your considered answer. This will enable you to test yourself in as near as possible to real examination conditions. take some care to be as accurate as you can. You should read the stem carefully. with a little concentration and logic applied. The correct answers are given. The choices provide a selection of answers to the question. Unless stated othe1wise. or you cannot see how to proceed after a minute or so. Most examinations have a time limit. For questions requiring a numerical answer. C or D) will be correct. The subject matter for this paper has been drawn from the New Zealand CAA syllabus for the Commercial Pilot Licence Examination in Principles of Flight and Aeroplane Performance. without referring back to the main text (or to the answers) in the manual. complete a double check of your figuring and the use of graphs. If you have studied the preceding chapters and completed the chapter reviews. While it is not absolutely necessa1y for the questions in Part II. it sometimes helps to eliminate those choices which are clearly wrong. select the choice which is the closest to your own calculation. The stem either poses a question or makes a statement. If an answer is not clear to you. and Part II . B.Aeroplane Performance. For those questions which require some arithmetic. and formulate an answer in your own mind. together with those for the chapter reviews. the correct response should become apparent. Principles of Flight Appendix 1-1 . charts and tables. Where possible. The ASL examinations permit the use of a small portable electronic calculator. If you are unable to identify the correct answer after the first reading. or different ways of completing the statement. Then. or employ the use of graphs or charts.

Aerodrome elevation is 5SO feet. what is the take-off distance required? 33. Use the single-engine service ceiling graph on page 17-40. The aircraft all- up weight is 2420 kg. What is the required landing distance? 30. Use the landing graph on page I 7-33. runway OS/26 has a grass surface and slopes down 2%. with a headwind component of 10 knots. The reported wind is 230/IS and the runway is 16/34. what is the landing distance required? 34. The QNH is lOIS hPa and the ambient temperature is+ !Soc. For a Part 135 operation. QNH is 1019 hPa and the reported ambient temperature is +2JOC. What is the maximum all-up weight of the aircraft if it is to take off within the distance available? 29. Use the take-off graph on page 17-25. For a Part 135 landing on a grass strip at 1200 ft elevation and a downslope of I%. The wind is almost totally crosswind giving a headwind component of 6 kt on runway 06 and a tailwind component of 6 kt on runway 24. Use the take-off chart on page 17-37. The grass runway has a landing distance available of 450 metres. ATIS reports the wind as OS0/40. The aircraft all-up weight is 2220 kg. What is the maximum all-up weight if you are to maintain at least 2000 ft terrain clearance in the case of an engine failure? 35.000 ft. QNH I 003 hPa. QNH is 1032 hPa and the ambient temperature is + I2°C. Aerodrome elevation is 12SO ft. Aerodrome elevation is sea level. and the headwind component is 24 kts. QNH is 99S hPa and the temperature is ISA+6. ambient temperature 24°C. Use the single-engine service ceiling graph on page 17-40. Use the landing chart on page 17-3S.700 feet mountain barrier. the QNH I 030 hPa. What are the headwind and crosswind components on this runway? 26. You plan a flight in a twin engined aeroplane over a 12. take-off weight 1522 kg. an up-slope of I% and a headwind component of 24 knots. 25. runway 03/21 is sealed. What is the highest altitude you can maintain on one engine? 17-48 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . Your twin engined aircraft all-up weight is 7200 lb. Use the landing graph on page 17-33. the sea level air temperature is + 19° C and the area QNH is I 00 I hPa. Use the take-off graph on page 17-25. Aerodrome elevation is 1500 feet. Use the head/tail wind component graph on page 17-21. Aircraft all-up weight is 2400 kg. if the mnway elevation is 250 ft. What is the required take-off distance? 2S. The sealed runway has a take-off distance available of 620 metres. The area QNH is 1022 hPa and the forecast lists a temperature of -TC at 10. What is the maximum all-up weight of the aircraft if it is to land within the distance available? 31. which runway vector provides for the shortest take-off distance? 32. You are an airfield of 1000 feet elevation which has a single grass runway 06/24. the runway is paved with a I% downslope. The reported wind is 050/25 and the runway in use is OS. What are the head/tail wind and crosswind components on both runway vectors? 27.000 ft and- !Soc at 15. it has a slope of I% up and the headwind component is 30 knots. a down-slope of 2% and a headwind component of 32 knots. Using the take-off graph on page 17-25. Use the head/tail wind component graph on page I 7-21. the QNH is I 004 hPa and the temperature is ISA-3. landing weight 1470 kg. The slope on runway 06 is 2% up and on runway 24 2% down.

Fill in the blank spaces in the following table. Using the extract from CAR Part 135 given at page 17-23.15.I8. If the landing is to be made on a metal strip with a 2% upslope. what is the amended take-off distance once the appropriate factors are applied? 22... If the published landing distance available for the landing in Q 23 is 670 metres. You are about to depart from an airstrip of unknown elevation.. pressure altitude 1000 ft. Under certain conditions during a Part 135 operation.. You manage to obtain the area QNH of 1020 hPa over the aircraft's radio. Pressure altitude Outside air temperature ISA temperature oc !SA+ or ISA- 1500 +22 6800 -5 FLISO -8 4000 1SA+4 2500 lSA-6 18. 20. what is the corrected landing distance required? 24.. When you set this in the subscale window the altimeter reads 1280 feet. Elevation QNH Pressure Outside air Density altitude temperature altitude 2500 1028 +20°C 3600 3180 +Soc 1001 7300 lSA-6 Sea level 998 +22°C 7000 7540 7180 1029 4300 +I4°C 1200 900 420 19. Assume the flight you were planning for in Q 20 above was for an air transport operation under Part 135 where the take-off was to be from a grass runway. headwind component I 0 knots. When the !SA temperature deviation is + 10°. feet (from/to) the (elevation/pressure altitude) to obtain the density altitude. You are at a place of unknown elevation and you cannot obtain the area QNH. ambient temperature soc. with an upslope of I%. calculate the take-off distance to 50 ft under the following conditions. you (add/subtract) . 21. will the pilot be able to comply with Part 135 in respect of the landing distance available (LDR)? Principles of Flight Performance 17-47 .. What is the pressure altitude of the place? 16. How can you determine the pressure altitude of the place? 17. If the take-off run available (TORA) for the take-off in Q 21 was 3000 ft. Using the typical flight manual graph on page I 7. take-off weight 6700 lb. Fill in the blank spaces in the following table. would the pilot be able to comply with Part 135 in respect of take-off distance required (TODR)? 23. you have calculated a landing distance using flight manual data of I 700 ft.

available..... 5......... or (b) the distance measured from a point 50 ft above the runway threshold to where the aeroplane can be brought to a complete stop? 9. You climb your aircraft at an lAS of II 0 kt at sea level under !SA conditions. The accelerate-stop distance available specified by the appropriate authority (may/may not) include a stopway.. When calculating pressure altitude............. A clearway (is/is not) the same as a stopway and (may/may not) be ground or water.... 14.......... hPa.... A contaminated runway is defined as one which has more than ........ Apart from pressure and temperature...... 10. For aeroplanes operating under CAR Part 135... %of its surface area within the required length covered by surface water......... What is the climb gradient (a) with respect to the airmass and (b) with respect to the ground? 8.. .......... A wet runway is defined as one with sufficient moisture on its surface to cause it to appear .... content in that the (higher/lower) the humidity of air the lower its density.... (Use 'rounded off figures.... %of the take off run available (TORA)... 6... 4. The shorter the accelerate-stop distance available.... feet......... the TODA must not exceed ... 2.. 7. The take-off distance required-TODR-(does/does not) include the distance required to reach a given screen height above the runway. one hPa equals a height of approximately ... 13........ The take-off distance available-TODA-is defined as the length of take- off . plus the length of any .... the ....) 12... water...... 0 C and the temperature lapse rate is . The International Standard Atmosphere (!SA) assumes that the atmospheric pressure at sea level is .. 3. the air temperature at sea level is .... Review 17 I....... °C/1 000 ft up to .. the density of air is also affected by its .... Fill in the blank spaces in the following table......... on any part of the runway surface area. this value is added to the altitude (or elevation) for every hPa (above/below) 1013 hPa.. Altitude QNH Pressure altitude 1500 1031 2400 2700 998 8150 Sea level 1004 3720 3360 !027 5390 17-46 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series .................. or has . slush or loose snow.... The headwind component is 22 kt and the rate of climb is 800 ft/min..... but without significant areas of ...... feet... In the lower atmosphere.. The landing distance required is (a) the length of the runway..... the speed beyond which the aircraft can be brought to a halt in case of an abandoned take-off..... the allowable take-off weight. .... and the . II........

We now interpolate for temperature. The take-off distance with 19 knots headwind will thus be 2744-365 = 2379 ft. it is a technique which you should be aware of and capable of using. we must follow a note on the take-off table which states that for each 10 knots headwind. we interpolate when we estimate the position of a point or a line which is part way between two other guidelines (as we have done several times when using take-off and landing charts). Although the result is an estimate. The take-off distance at 16°C will therefore be 2590 + (0·6 of 2847.2590) = 2744 ft. Footnote When we are using a graph or chart. This distance of 2744 ft is for nil wind Compare this with the figure of 3210 ft we obtained by the approximation method. It is likely that some of the performance planning data for the aeroplanes which you will fly (including medium and large aeroplanes) will be in tabular form and will require interpolation in a similar manner described for the above example. Principles of Flight Performance 17-45 . Hence. Interpolation with the use of tables is more accurate. for 19 knots. 16°C is 10°C + 0·6 of the difference between 10° and 20°C. Although it is time consuming. it will be a close approximation to the actual figure provided we take reasonable care in plotting the positions of the various points on the graph or chart. the decrease is 2744 x (19/10 x 0·07) = 365. the distance should be decreased by 7%. To establish what the effect of the headwind component will be.

multiply the differences by 0·55 and add to the lower figure. interpolation means calculating or estimating values from known ones in the same range. Next. 2400 ft is 400/100 (or 0·4) of the difference between 2000 and 3000 ft. we must interpolate between the increments given. thus: 10"C 20"C Total Total Take-off Distance Distance and Climb Pressure Ground to Clear Ground to Clear Weight Speed Altitude Roll. if we take the differences between between the 2000 and 3000 ft values. 50ft. for a weight of 6200 lb the total distance to clear 50 ft at I ooc is 2220 + (2400 . we must reduce the two lines of data for each of the pressure altitudes of 2000 and 3000 ft to one line representing the data for the actual pressure altitude of 2400 ft. In the extract from the table shown for Example 36. 17-44 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . multiply them by 0·4 and add these figures to the 2000 ft value. followed by interpolation between two vertical columns of data. 50ft- Pounds KIAS Feet Feet Feet Feet Feet 6500 96 2400 2590 2847 Note we have also interpolated for take-off and climb speed as well as the take- off distance. interpolation between two horizontal lines of data will be first required. In this method. By the same process. We thus produce one line representing the data for the actual weight of 6500 lbs. Interpolation Method. This weight (6500 lbs) is 6200 lbs +300/550 (0·55) of the difference between 6200 lbs and the next increment up of 6750 lbs. Complete the same interpolation (add 0·4 of the differences to the lower figure) for a pressure altitude of 2400 ft at the higher weight of 6750 lb.e. i. and we now have a table which has been reduced to: 10"C 20"C Total Total Take-off Distance Distance and Climb Pressure Ground to Clear Ground to Clear Weight Speed Altitude Roll. we will have a line of data representing a pressure altitude of 2400 ft. Therefore.2220 = 180 X 0·4) 72 ft = 2292 ft. Interpolate in the same way as we did for pressure altitude. we must reduce the two lines shown above to one. First. 50ft- Pounds KIAS Feet Feet Feet Feet Feet 6750 98 2400 2834 3102 6200 94 2400 2292 2536 Note we have dropped the ground roll figures since these are not required. to fit the table to the actual conditions. at a weight of 6200 lbs the total distance to clear 50ft at 20°C is 2480 + (2620 -2480 = 140 x 0·4) 56ft= 2536 ft. Usually. Roll. Roll. we must interpolate three times horizontally. 50ft. because of the way the data has been presented. representing the actual weight of 6500 lbs. In the sense in which we are using the word. For example.

it is close to or less than the TODA. and 20°C. Roll. 3000 ft.000 feet. temperature I6°C. Extract from the table the figures for the next increments of weight. pressure altitude 2400 ft. 50ft. If it is well within the take-off distance available. Where these two lines intersect. However. headwind component 19 knots. Draw a line vertically from -12° and draw a line horizontally from 15. make a mark which is about l/3rd away from 7450 towards 6800 lb. establish the take-off and climb speed and the total distance to clear 50 ft. this does not often happen.Example 35 (page 42). Use of Tabulated Performance Data For many aircraft. altitude and other variables given in the table can be matched directly to the conditions being planned for. and it becomes necessary to use either approximate values or (if an accurate result is required) to interpolate between the incremental values given. Principles of Flight Performance 17-43 . The forecast stated the freezing level at 9. using an extract from a typical take-off distance table for a light twin-engined aeroplane. Example 36. Thus the answer is approximately 7200 lb. rather than as a graph or chart. It is possible to use the outside air temperature grid along the x-axis instead of ISA values but when doing so you must follow the vertical grid lines. The following gives an example of the approximation and interpolation methods of handling tabulated performance data. What will be the aircraft's maximum weight to achieve this? Since a flight level is pressure altitude we do not have to calculate it. the take-off must be determined accurately by using interpolation. then no further take-off calculations need be made. Note that this take-off distance required of 3210 ft is for nil wind conditions. If however. The use of such tables is straightfOlward provided the increments of temperature. some of the performance data is presented in the flight manual in the form of a table. Given take-off weight 6500 lbs.000 feet.9) = 6 x 2 = -l2°C. Using an average lapse rate of 2°C/1 000 ft we can calculate the temperature at FL150 by multiplying (15 . Obstmctions demand that you can maintain at least FLJ50 on one engine. Extract from Normal Take-off Distance Table (not to be used operationally) 10'C 20'C Total Total Take-off Distance Distance and Climb Pressure Ground to Clear Ground to Clear Weight Speed Altitude Roll. The approximate determination of take-off speed and distance to 50 ft. 50ft- Pounds KIAS Feet Feet Feet Feet Feet 6750 98 2000 2350 2770 2570 3030 3000 2500 2930 2730 3210 6200 94 2000 1880 2220 2100 2480 3000 2040 2400 2230 2620 Approximation Method. is therefore 98 knots and 3210 ft. In this case they are 6750 lb. pressure altitude and temperature which are more conservative than the actual conditions.

I 026 - 1013 = 13x30 = 390 + 17.600 = 17. First establish the average !SA value. This is 3° colder than !SA. elevation must be higher than pressure altitude. SINGLE-ENGINE SERVICE CEILING 26 24 22 20 E< 18 .990 feet altitude.600 QNH is greater than 1013. expressed as ISA-3. draw a line horizontally to the Y-axis to obtain a pressure altitude of 17. so colder than !SA and expressed as ISA-S. pressure altitude is lower than elevation or. draw this line parallel to the nearest !SA guide line. Therefore. OUTSIDE AIR TEMPERATURE °C 17-42 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series .600ft. -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 Example 35.''"" 0 0 0 18 ~ '" ~ 14 ~ 12 ~ "' ~ 10 8 0 Fig. E =? Q 1026 P-17.(2 x 10) = 1S. At FL180 !SA is 1S .(2 x 18) = 1S . thus you have to convert pressure altitude to altitude (elevation) given a QNH of 1026 hPa. The question required you to calculate the single engine ceiling in terms of altitude. Next draw a line representing the all-up weight of 72SO lb. Where this weight line intersects the ISA- 4 line. about one quarter distance from 74SO Ib towards 6600 lb. At 10. 17-15.36 = -21 oc and the forecast temperature is -26°C. turning this around.000 ft !SA is 1S. Thus the average temperature is ISA-4.20 =- soc whereas the forecast temperature is -8°C.

the aircraft at 7230 lb will be able to maintain a pressure altitude of I 4. _.ttt\'.-----"'- "' :::::::: ::=~=:~. --'~--'. OUTSIDE AIR TEMPERATURE °C Principles of Flight Performance 17-41 . expressed as ISA+3.390 ft.36 = -2 I oc whereas the forecast is -I soc...::: . should an engine fail.(2 x IS) = IS .0:::: ::::::~: ~ 14 ~ 12 "'~ fll fll "'~ 10 ~ ._ __ 8 --.. I/3rd = 220 lb in round figures. At FLISO !SA temperature is IS.~=~~ ~~:\:= ~\=~:::: ~::::: :::::::: =f=~= ~ ----·--.~~~~f~~j~ ~!ri~J~ ~mR ~mu E-< 18 "'~ -Cj: __ ft.__.'"'.-~"o.---"\'. '\ --·t?i:::i\'.000 feet is IS- (2 x 10) = IS ..-------. draw this line on the graph parallel to the !SA guide lines. For example. -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 Example 34.----.li~ .20 =-S°C while the forecast temperature is -rc which is 4o warmer than !SA.:::t~ :. 17-14. An alternative to these calculations is to ascertain the maximum altitude an aircraft can maintain while on one engine when the all-up weight is a given value...390 ft) crosses the ISA+3 line. The average !SA temperature is therefore around ISA+3.. expressed as ISA+4.:::::: :::::::: =N:d: 0 0 0 16 ====~===r-k~~. _. Since the total weight difference is 6SO lb. a domestic high level forecast may indicate an expected temperature of MOl (-I}· at 10. Example 34. For example. SINGLE-ENGINE SERVICE CEILING 26 24 ~ ~1sl~~~ ~~1~t~t~ =~~l~l~ ~~~~~l~ ~~~~~~J~ ~t~t~~~ ~l~l~t~~ ~l~l~~.000 feet and MIS (-IS) at FL ISO. -. Deduct this from 74SO and you have established the maximum weight (7230 lb) your aircraft can carry on this particular day to comply with the single- engine ceiling requirement.Forecasts give temperatures in oc for selected altitudes. The mark is about l/3rd the distance from 74SO lb to 6SOO lb.:':::'ij:t~f =~. the all-up weight is 72SO lb and the forecast shows that the temperature at 10. I \ H-~ I I I"' ' 4 Fig. In other words. 3° warmer than !SA.. make a mark and estimate the associated all-up weight from the weight guide lines either side of the mark.------\.-------.000 ft is expected to be -S°C and at FL I SO -26°C. The !SA temperature at 10.:~ ~:::E ·~t:~: ~~:~f: :~:t::t ~. Where the pressure altitude line (from 14.'\'\---0.t~~~:~. ~:- 6 ~~~~~~~~ ~~~=~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~i~~]~: ~i~:~~~ ~~~~:~:~4~ \ \: \ ·-\~ ~~~==~~ ~~=~~~ .--Y---'..~~.~ 22 20 ~~~IWil~[i i i Ill: ~~r: ~~~t~{~r~ l]~it . the QNH on the day is 1026 hPa._ ':K.

000 feet. The simplest way is to establish !SA values and draw the appropriate line parallel to the lSA temperature guides. It is your responsibility to ensure that the all-up weight of the aircraft is such that its single-engine ceiling is at least 14. you must establish the temperatures you are likely to encounter. Temperature information is normally available to you from forecasts or from actual reports. SINGLE-ENGINE SERVICE CEILING Example 33.000 ft (under lFR conditions) in case one engine fails (you require a 2. You must first calculate the pressure altitude which corresponds to the altitude of 14. Since this is lower than 1013 hPa.000 ft mountain range which demands that it can maintain at least 14. 17-13. 26 24 22 20 8 18 1"<1 1"<1 "' 0 0 0 ~ 16 1"<1 ~ 14 ~ 1"<1 12 ~ rn rn ~ 10 8 6 4 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 OUTSIDE AIR TEMPERATURE o C Example 33. draw a horizontal line across the graph. Thus the minimum pressure altitude your aircraft must be able to maintain is 14.Fig. You plan to fly your twin-engined aircraft over a 12.000 feet clearance). Let us assume the QNH is 1000 hPa.000 feet altitude (elevation). pressure altitude is higher than actual altitude by (13 x 30) = 390 ft. It will will probably be easier to understand the principles of operating this graph if we use an example. Secondly. 17-40 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . this depends on the QNH of the day. From this value on theY-axis.390 feet.000 + 390 = 14.

(For a typical light twin-engined aeroplane. or Minimum Off Route Altitude (MORA)* as appropriate. to use the published Minimum Enroute Altitude (MEA)*. (Fig. I 7-13 shows the various elements that determine this capability. In practice what this all means is that. Combined. if necessary.) Single-engine Service Ceiling Graph To assist route planning. the flight manual for a twin-engined aeroplane should provide you with a single-engine service ceiling graph. degrees Celsius along the horizontal x-axis and matching slanted !SA lines. 17-13 is not to be used operationally. The vertical y-axis shows pressure altitude values. When planning a flight the all-up weight is adjusted. taking into account the forecast meteorological conditions.) (2) What this means is that.En-route . When an engine fails during high-altitude cruise flight in a twin-engined aircraft there is often a loss of height. Briefly.Engine Inoperative Performance There is a requirement for multi-engined aeroplanes operating in accordance with Part 135 that the aeroplane is to be capable of continuing flight at a positive slope at or above the relevant minimum safe altitudesOJ. This ceiling depends mainly on the all-up weight of the aircraft and the density altitude at which it can operate on one engine. to enable the aircraft to maintain a minimum safe altitude above terrain should one engine fail. Fig. there is also a requirement that the assumed en-route gradient with one engine inoperative is the gross-gradient-minus-0. known as drift-down. In general. There are two temperature guides. The solid slanted lines represent all-up weight variations.5% gradient<2J. the heavier the aircraft and the warmer the conditions the lower the single-engine ceiling. in a twin-engined aeroplane. NOTES: (I) Acceptable means of obtaining the minimum safe altitudes for the flight are given in AC 119-3. and assuming the critical engine is inoperative and the remaining engines are operated at the recommended maximum continuous power setting. When planning a route to take account of the foregoing. to a point 1000 feet above an aerodrome which is suitable for landing.) In US-sourced aeroplanes. these two parameters provide density altitude information. these can be summarised as being either (a) to conduct a detailed high terrain or obstacle analysis of the route. this equates to having a capability of climbing at roughly 50 ft per minute under ideal conditions. The graph in Fig. the ceilings which are calculated using this type of graph. Because (a) is time consuming. take into account the required en-route gradient capability as described above. to the single-engine ceiling. Principles of Flight Performance 17-39 . you should not plan to fly a route over which you would be unable to maintain an obstacle clearance of at least 2000ft under IFR with one engine inoperative (and at least I OOOft during a VFR operation) and arrive at a minimum of I OOOft overhead a suitable aerodrome for landing. it is likely that preference will be given to using MEA or MORA. (* Given in the En-route Charts. or (b). the aeroplane must be capable of maintaining a climb gradient of O·So/o under ideal conditions. at the engine-inoperative ceiling which has been assumed for planning purposes. I 7-13 provides a typical example of this type of graph.

l!l & ~ 3 210123 5 0 10 20 300 DOWN UP TAIL HEAD SLOPE[%) REPORTED WIND i"' {KNOTS) 4000 PROCEDURE FOR USE 1. . tI II"J .? . Mo\li! horizontally across to the !roo "'E N ~ AIRFIELD PRESSURE corresponding to the !anding wetght 3 Move vertically 4l to the )jne .L taimind speed.8 E s :§ c. I . or down the correct kin line to the degtee of up :2 ~ 0 "'"' 5.n the rorroctiOn J.'llii I'lis I~12 ~ LANDING J 1 900 2(]) E 11111-fHIIIII~ This chart •was prepared In accordooce ~Mih AdvioOIY D CifCuklr PC 119-31£1ng mariUfoc!urefs data to pRXJuce a chart that can be used forcompl. I ..J 3000 the pressure akitude for the illlftekl 2.once 800 1 E 0 with NlCAR R:Jrt 135 Subpart D Pelfolmonce.g corresponding to the type of operation "- ~ STARTHERE • ALTITUDE {feet) 2000 and~ SU!faca 4.Gross Runway .Metal Runway UNE D . I .1\I II. ~"II I ··u I 1\ . Ill lllll.I I ill . I 'f !"! l . Move across to the zero Wll1d line. D\f-tiCw-!Bb'l I I IIA ~I I I'J I I tEl ~I I I I I'~ I I I 11 ooo "' -~ .$]_. thetl either back up op lha app\lcabla S.) The chorl rxovides !he IOiollonding distance T (]) required from a helglll ol50 reet. s (. I .AJr Transport Opemfions. ' t'.223(b) Landing £k>tonce c 700 E R E Q 11111111 uld~U'J lkf 11111111111111 UJ I fHU I fll IRIIJ'HU 1 ~ Model: Sample 600 Not to be used operationally D M .!!! UNE C -I>Jr Transport Operations . The c hort iflCQrpomtes the solely factors of. .PriVate Operations· Paved Runway UNE B -Air Transport Opemllons. A N r:: Port 135. <f co ~ then either back up to the appl~eal>le 1000 da{lrae of down slope. or doY.Paved Runway II II Ufl Jz1111111111111111111111 UItHl I tfffi llii"U tR11YfLoo "'. Read the f8qU!red diStance on the &~ nght hand sJde or the wind pooet .ne to !he applicable hoodwind speed n'~ ~<> !ANDING WEIGHT 6. Loca:e the point corresponding to 1l<:: -. move across to the zero slope l:oo. E~ I.211 Slope ol'\d Surface Cooect!ons Porll35.I l'j 'I' I. 500 E T § R .l. liNE A .

e-olt Crstanco T Part 135 211 SlOpe and Surface Correct.<e o hO.tnd l!rn!. or OO. ~(C B ~ J:li! ~ = ~ 1J g- -o· -- ". ~.:."'b!e tail-hmd E E '\.Gloss Runway 400 • START HERE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE (''C) 3 2 0 1 2 3 5 0 10 20 300 0 10 20 30 UP DOWN TAll HEAD SLOPE(%} REPORTED WIND (KNOTS) J' a. or down the rorrect100 line to the uu " dog!oo of down slope - R 0 .& ISA speed.COJY "''P" <Q· Crrcuior AC 119·3 USing monulacturMs data to ~ ::t pro::!vce a Cllort tho! con be u:>cd lor compcunco wrlh NZCAA Port 135 Subpart D Pe<lorrnonco The chart prow.off wrnght 3 Move vertreally up to the ~ne !SA+20 2 - R l correspond>ng to the type of operatoo and E T runway surface $1 .m lhe o:xmcl100 hne to the iFD app!icabk! headvliOd speed eft' ~ -90' !i"' <9_t.i t"'. Locate lha poifll CO!Tespood:ng to the ambent teml)'lrotura and PAll for the day '3 2 Move horizoola!ly across to the hne § c.<.209(a) Tar. tllcn ~ ISA+lO e.ons A N Model: Sample Chart not to be used operationally 700 c E "'"'q R E c5· Q ::t u 0 ~ 600 I R E D M 500 E T R UNE A.:." m.'lh MV. u-.. The chart Incorporate..Jes me totot tol'-e·oll d::tan. §i .eft' 4 move across to the zero slope line. PROCEDURE FOR USE 1.:::e reqwred to och.Paved RUIWIOY E UNE 8 • /'>Jr Transport Operations • Paved Runwoy s LINE C -Air Transport Operations ..Ail Transport Operations .orrespondmg to lakg. safety factors at s ~ Port l35.ght or 50 reet 800 D I ~ . &. ::0 lh!:i Chor! WOS Pf€p::J18d in OCC01dOflCO V._y· ISA-10 . TAKE-OFF 900 : -' Q..PriVOie Operolions .~·.nd panel ~"' "'" . tllen e1!her back up op the apphc.<> 5 Move across to the zero w.i Q.zy TAKE-OFF WEIGHT 6 Read lhe mqu:red d•stance on the nght hand s:de of the w.!her tmc:k up to the appl!cab!o degree of S T up s!opa.Metal Run'h'Oy LINE D .

A small diagram providing a key to their use. the use of these charts is very similar to those which we have just discussed in detail. following the instructions given on the chart establish the LOR. I. The landing chart requires only pressure altitude to be entered. (For landing.% downslope. so pressure altitude is (8 x 30 ft) or 240 ft up from 5 70 = 81 0 ft. This is two-thirds of the distance between the 3300 and 3600 lb lines. For Part 135 operations use lines B.) 3.5 T/W. Examples of take-off and landing charts developed in accordance with this AC. The graphs can thus be readily used to check compliance with Part 135. 17-II and I 7-12 respectively. The answer you should obtain is 540 metres (±I 5). For a Part 135 air transport operation. for an upslope on landing. Often. 1% upslope. Carefully up to the next line (line B in this case). are shown at Figs. accuracy in tracing upward from the weight line is essential to obtaining an accurate take-off or landing distance required- Example 31. This should be 640 metres (say ±I 5 metres). \1. landing weight 1410 kg. Where the horizontal line from the temperature mark meets this line. take-off weight 1590kg. The charts include the safety factors of Part 135 slope and surface corrections. and use only the single landing-weight line available. For ease of interpolation. temperature 19'C. what is the TODR under the following conditions. together with written step-by-step notes. QNH 1005. then across to the slope reference line. For a Part 135 air transport operation from a paved runway. is located at the bottom right of each chart. Place a mark where the 19'C line meets an imagina1y 810ft line. and thus interpolation for lower landing weights is not possible in landing charts based on this data. Some additional notes on their use are as follows. check your procedure and accuracy again. and take-off and landing distance respectively and use \1. From there. 17-12. move down the guidelines. You will need to calculate the pressure altitude. the effect of correcting for temperature is insignificant. headwind component 14 knots. operators may develop new- style P-charts (from flight manual data) in accordance with the guidance material given in Appendix C to AC 119-3. convert 1590 kg to lbs [x 2. down to 5 knots (half of 10 kt). Note that because these lines are moderately steep on the graph. The required safety factors are taken account of in the panel above the weight panel. so draw a line there for the take-off weight in this case. C or D as appropriate (Line A does not include the "85%'' safety factor). Three take-off weights are shown . Note in this case you must use line D and. If it isn't. What is the LDR? Solution. Example 32. Use of Later P-charts As an acceptable means of compliance with Part 135. the data for only one landing weight (MCLW) is available in the flight manual. H/W or 1. and then across to read off the TODR.interpolate for intermediate weights. QNH 1022. If it isn't. 4. 17-36 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . Complete the example using Fig. 2. down to '/2%. proceed as indicated by the instructions. Follow through with this example using Fig. Although their layout is slightly different. across to the wind reference line. 17-11. Then. Elevation 570 ft. a landing is required on a grass runway under the following conditions: Elevation 1130 ft. check your procedure and accuracy of marking again.2= 3498 (say 3500 lb)]. make another mark. I 0 knots headwind component? Solution_ QNH is down. The take-off chart is entered by establishing ambient temperature against pressure altitude in the normal way.

.. ..-.J.. :t~ CCL JJJJ 600 L•cL:e:st. ~~i'¥ LLL~O~J...._..i._~!~ ~~~~=- From the grass X mark.J JJ._ 1-H- ++++ ++++ .. rrr ... .:.). there is a requirement for operators to adjust the landing distance required to make an allowance for wet and contaminated nmways.JJ JJ... :tU .~SS :::::::: : : : : : : : guide lines until you intersect 2% down. draw a horizontal line un t1... Draw a line parallel to the slope :::::::: :::::::a::.. 1!1111111 1111 111111!11 1111 "" 1..JJ ..-....J._.. :::i~~..j....J..w ._.. 1-1. . ~~~ I -..... ..-.._.....l you s tn·1{e th e sIope re ference 1·1ne and .1 . wrong way of doing this.J-1-.l.. f±±± :~tb: !:CCC L'X:l: :l:l:H 0 distance available is limited. ... 420 headwind component of 16 kt (use half= 8 kt) """ rt-1- E:"' " ' _.. . "" '""'"' . K:i:i:i :!:!!! tt :: ::::~~-..:-o-1-1.J...JJJJ::l :L±±± :tbt C-\i:j: tL '.225.-_J....... From this mark...1...... operators of normal category aeroplanes must ensure that if a landing is being made on a wet runway. ~ 6 metres)._.... -....1......f1ii ~~t 0 CCL -.1.J .. that for aeroplanes operating in accordance with Part 135.t...lJ...JiffiJ ....1..J ....J . :~."11"1 660 an X mark there.._..tT rrrr ..._... 3lli"' ~~~~ .....1*"1'1"1 11!"1 TTTT T r rr ITl"l -. -!-I-l-l- H-H ''~' then have a good look where the down-slope :::::: :::::::::tti ~~~ -t-t++ . L LL't-L '-!-~ '--'-' '--1....l.*L J.. LL.j :!:l:l :t:t!! ....... 1 orr ..J:l:l::l ~ needs to be taken as with the take-off graph.:it...-.....l.-..:::::::: :::::::::: is.... L ~L LI-I.....-.....~::J ....:...J (/) W knot value (half of 28 kt) and then draw a ·~~J 1-S.:~ ::i~ :~~ w 528 metres (remembering each little square is ......3JJ ~~~~ ~ To work the graph backwards if the landing 480 ::::::1::~: :l::l:f}.-.j. ~~..l ..J t. Principles of Flight Performance 17-35 ....lliili.t.... ...1~~· ..J_ H~:........L f-1.':!:::::: :::: .... -l .333ti:!JJ II!I r~j\t eta -. the landing distance available must be at least 115% of the landing distance required by Part 135...- "T"TTT ~~::: ::.J .. "'"~..:oo """.... under Part 135..-. -~ H++ .. .lJ...J. .I... :::: ·::: he<e Notes on Runway Surface Condition P-charts (whether older-style or new) make a distinction between paved and grass runways so that the different acceleration and braking characte1istics can be taken account of when calculating take-off or landing distance required.I.1"+ ..!~ ....1 .J.J..i'>l • ..J.I. .1 .~_· ?J...-l..u .l. 1... LLL LLI._. long wet grass.1 The next two diagrams (which assume a :::::: •::::: .J. ~~~~ iiH r'F r r:: :::::::::: ~:::ii I T rrt> .J:l ..1. the same care tttF83i~:l::l ::11±± :~Ht~~tt t:B"~._Ej:E ~~~ ~~ ~~H ~~~ S....._..J. ~rr 2 ~~~ .J.. LLC~._c...-.. .~~~ ~~H EH!~.....::.g. ~:::::: q:::: ~ii nn :ttt~~~:: ::~t'iii (/) FFF :=1::0· ~ri~ HH tftF FF'kf... -1-1-1"' and a I% up-slope) show the right and the ::::::: :::::::: ~~~ .1.... For example.. TTTT 360 .. I. u..1.J... draw a :=:=:=~')sQ~:I:l~~~ HH :ft~~ ~~fL:iL:Cf-tc=:=_::::.._. . make rrr ..1 . -...1. long or wet grass... rrrr rrrr -.223... .I.l.. . Remember also...J...l J.~J~J' 'l horizontal line to the wind reference line and :=~:=~:=:~~~~~ . .. .. When using P-charts you should be aware that they do not differentiate between wet or dry sealed surfaces or short. to the left._ ::::t:r!j::J:::z .J.w :_~~~-c...I..-....1..l.J.J. .. ~~~...... You should be mindful of this and make an allowance (which must be approximate) for runway conditions that are likely to result in poor acceleration or poor braking action._._. .J. ~ horizontal line to the vertical graph axis which from grass tt~~::~ !.~....~ HH hh tttt:tjj~ ::jjj :2 indicates that we have a landing distance of x..~ ~:~~3: -(s... iN'lc~r-.. e..J ili1J A follow the wind guide lines down to the 14 ~~~ ~~~ ..:::::::: ::.._....

From this mark. p = 1400-480=920. more or less equal distance between ISA+5 and !SA+ 10. Landing Graph The landing graph (Fig. E = 1400 Q = 1029 (higher than 1013 :.Alt is down). Whereas a down-slope is advantageous for take-off. There are one or two differences. it has the opposite effect on landing. What is the landing distance? First determine pressure altitude. Example 30. draw a line vertically down to the grass surface line and place an X mark there. QNH is I 029 hPa. Thus the up-slope and down-slope are reversed in the landing graph compared to the take-off graph. 17-34 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . it lengthens the landing distance. The aircraft all-up weight is 2350 kg. Draw a horizontal line to the right from 2350 kg and where this line intersects the line you have just drawn. P. The grass runway has a down-slope of 2% and the headwind component is 28 kt. which need to be noted. draw a line vertically down parallel to the grid until you strike the reference line and make an X mark there. 1029. draw a line parallel to the weight guide lines and note again that these guide lines are not straight. Airfield elevation is 1400 feet. not 5 as in the take-off graph. Draw the 920 ft line parallel to the S/L and 1000 ft pressure altitude guide lines and draw the !SA+ 7 line parallel to the slanted !SA lines.1013 = 16 x 30 = 480 ft. The wind component block is the same but note that distances are plotted in 60 metre lots which means that each little square is 6 metres. From the intersection of the two lines. the temperature is !SA+ 7. 17-10 on previous page) is very similar to the take-off graph and requires the same method of working. make another X mark. The pressure altitude/temperature block has more !SA lines and is spread out more. In the all-up weight block there are only three weight guide lines instead of five in the take-off graph and the runway surface guide lines are much further apart. A very important difference to note is the slope block. From this mark. however.

. Day. Principles of Flight Performance 17-33 . Fig. ·~·~·~·~·. Landing graph. 17-10. 660 600 540 ' I l'l s~ 480 "~ 420 360 This graph is for an imaginary aircraft on Air Transport operations. Not to be used operationally ..

The WRONG diagram shows that the wind guidelines instead of the horizontal grid were followed initially to the I 0 kt wind (half of 20 kt). The WRONG and the RIGHT diagrams show clearly how a mistake can be made. It then repeats the mistake by going to the slope reference line first instead of to the 2% up slope. The RIGHT diagram shows how the lines should have been drawn. Assuming that the available take-off distance is 540 metres. 17-32 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . there is a 20 kt headwind component and a 2% up-slope.

'. Establish the density altitude first. Q = 1004 (lower than 1013 :. . read the maximum possible all-weight that can be carried bearing in mind the limited take-off distance available. From 5SO metres on the far 1ight of the graph. Having drawn all lines and X marks you can then run your pencil along them forward to ensure that you have followed the correct procedure. make an X mark there. . .. From this mark draw a line vertically up through the weight guide lines. Aerodrome elevation is 1200 ft. parallel with the grid starting from + IS°C ambient .: E = 1200 .Where the two lines intersect... Principles of Flight Performance 17-31 . :: . Draw a 14 70 line parallel to the pressure altitude "" lines. . Solution. draw a freehand line parallel to the weight guide lines. then follow the slope guide lines to the reference line and make another X mark there... almost exactly halfway between I 000 and :i :·.. . Where this line intersects the vertical graph axis. P. ·:! p = 1200 + 270 = 1470 ft. 1013. weight for the limited take-off distance available? .. Now follow the wind guide lines up until you intersect the reference line. draw a horizontal line parallel with the grid to the left and you establish the all-up weight appropriate to the take-off distance available. . down to the all-up weight reference line. make an X mark there. slope is 2% down and the runway surface is seal. now run your pencil forward from the X mark in the weight guide line section and ensure you have followed the slope and wind sections correctly. make an X mark and from that mark draw a horizontal line to the left.· work forward. Until this technique is thoroughly understood it is wise to draw all lines rather than just make X-marks at the various positions. Then draw a horizontal line to the right '""' . draw a horizontal line to the left until you come to a headwind component of 12 kt.... From that mark draw a horizontal line to the left to intersect the seal surface line and make another X mark there. headwind component is 24 kt. This is as far as you can """ :. ::·.. Example 29 Take-off distance available is 5SO metres. Having drawn all these lines. All is up). """ :I From the X mark. ·.. the QNH is I 004 hPa and the ambient temperature is +I soc. What is the aircraft's maximum-possible all-up '.. and from where the pressure altitude and . Where the vertical line you drew intersects the earlier one you drew parallel with the weight guide lines. 2000 ft. ~ 1004 = 9x30 =270ft.. From this point draw a horizontal line to 2% down slope.

follow the steeply slanted tailwind guide lines until you intersect the 9 knot tailwind line you drew vertically up. Note the substantial influence of a tailwind on take-off distance required. Then you must start on the right of the graph and work backwards. The technique requires you to commence with the density altitude section and goes as far as drawing a line parallel to the all-up weight guide lines. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid until you strike the wind reference line. From that point. Read off the take-off distance required. From there draw a line parallel to the grid to the type of surface and then a vertical line through the weight guide lines. have a good look at the wind and slope sections when working forward. From the 9 knot tailwind speed intersection. Similarly. Draw a line straight up from 9 knots tailwind parallel to the grid. 600 metres in this example. You will finish with an intersection of lines in the weight section and by drawing a horizontal line to the left from that point you will establish the maximum weight of your aircraft for the take-off distance available. Continue on from mark X at 2% down-slope. follow the slanted wind guide lines until you intersect the II knot line you drew vertically up. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid and intersect the take-off distance line. Calculating Maximum All-up Weight There are occasions where the take-off distance available does not allow the aircraft to be loaded to its maximum permissible all-up weight and it is then necessary to calculate an all-up weight that does permit a safe take-off within the available distance. 17-30 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series . slope is allowed for by drawing a line from the reference line parallel to the slope guide lines until the appropriate degree of slope is intersected. draw a horizontal line (from the take-off distance available) parallel with the grid until you meet the wind strength. From that point.5 x = 9 kt). Continue on from mark X at 2% up-slope (example 22). We will assume you have worked through the various parts of the graph to mark X at 2% down slope. This example establishes the take-off distance required when there is a tailwind component of 6 knots (use 1. From the II knot wind speed intersection. then follow the wind guide lines to the reference line. 1230 metres in this example. draw a horizontal line parallel with the grid to the degree of slope and then follow the slope guide lines to the reference line. Thus if you work backwards. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid and intersect the take-off distance line. To avoid mistakes. There is a very common tendency to misuse-use the graph guide lines when working backwards. Note that allowance for head or tailwind component is made by drawing a line parallel to the wind guide lines from the reference line and when the appropriate wind strength has been reached you draw a horizontal line to ascertain the take-off distance. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid until you strike the wind reference line. then draw a horizontal line to the wind reference line. Example 28. Read off the take-off distance required. From there.

Principles of Flight Performance 17-29 . Assume the grass runway has . Following on from example 25.Allowing for Slope If a runway has a slope it will affect the aircraft differently on take-off compared to landing. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid until you strike the wind reference line. Whereas a down-slope assists the take-off and produces a shorter take-off distance required. draw a line parallel to the slope guide lines. assume there is a headwind component of 22 knots (use half = II knots).e. . draw a line of best fit to the slope guide lines.. Thus it is most important that you pay particular attention to the values of the slope guidelines. You will note that the slope guide lines are not parallel to each other. From the 15 knot wind speed intersection. From that point. Example 25.. they are opposites for take-off and landing. Continuing from the X mark on the grass surface of example 22. From that point. down to I% (i. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid until you strike the slope reference line. Example 27. assume there is a headwind component of 30 kt (use half = I 5 kt). Note again that the wind guide lines are not parallel to each other which means that you must estimate a line of best fit between them. it has an adverse effect on landing.. up to 2% and place a mark X there. Example 26. Continuing from the X mark on the hard surface of example 23. . Draw a line straight up from II knots (headwind) parallel to the grid.. only half- way down the lines) and place a mark X there. Read off the take-off distance required. follow the slanted wind guide lines until you intersect the 15 knot line you drew vertically up. Following on from example 24. Example 24. From that point. You must therefore estimate the mean distance between the guide lines when drawing your line of best fit. 770 metres in this example. from Continue on from mark X at I% down-slope "omp~o (example 22). Allowing for Wind Velocity The graph makes allowance for headwind components up to 30 knots and tailwind components up to I 0 knots. Assume the sealed runway has a 2% up-slope . draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid until you strike the reference line. draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid and intersect the take-off distance line.' a I% down-slope. Draw a line straight up from 15 knots (headwind) parallel to the grid.

seal and place a mark X there. example 23 draw a line from the X mark at 2220 kg straight down :: .• 17-28 Performance The Commercial Pilot Series .. determine the intersection point if the aircraft all-up weight is 2450 kg. . Allowing for All-up Weight From where the density altitude line has stmck the reference line. Draw a parallel line between the appropriate weight guide lines starting at point X of example 21 Then draw a horizontal line to the right and parallel to the grid from 2220 kg.· ' '•.. Example 22.! f> . Similarly. . Following on from point X on the '"' ' weight guide lines of example 22.! . e. Where the two lines intersect. place another mark X. Allowing for Runway Surface Most graphs make an allowance for sealed or grass runways. long or wet grass. '·. draw a line parallel to the weight guide lines. make a mark. following on from '. Note that these lines are slightly curved and therefore you cannot use a mler. : draw a line straight down until it ' intersects the slanted grass guide line and place a mark X there. which has to be approximate to be sure. place another mark X. ·~ to hard assuming the surface is ·. but they do not differentiate between wet or dry sealed surfaces or short. if the runway surface is grass. : . for runway surfaces that cause slow "" acceleration or that produce poor '"" braking action. Then draw a horizontal line to the right and parallel to the grid from 2450 kg. Using point X from example 2 I. Example 23. Draw a horizontal line parallel to the grid from the aircraft all-up weight value and where this line intersects the previous line you drew. You should be mindful of this and make a further allowance. Using point X from example 20. . determine the intersection point if the aircraft all-up weight is 2220 kg. wet grass. Where the two lines intersect.g.. Draw a parallel line between the appropriate weight guide lines starting at point X of example 20.

p = 24SO + !50= 2630 ft. P.5 = 10°C and since the reported ambient temperature was [ 6°C you can see that this is 6° warmer than !SA... (!SA should be !3°C at SOO ft [nearest 1000 ft] and thus ISA+5 is !Soc at that altitude. P. . use the oc scale and draw an appropriate line horizontally to the right. The aerodrome elevation is 1250 feet. All is down). draw a line down to the reference line and place a mark (X) there. 102S. At 2630 ft !SA is 15 . QNH is I 02S hPa and the i-i· '''H"··· f+:.i+i::Hi:-+-+: temperature is reported as ISA+5. from 16° to the right.. Draw a horizontal line. .:.) Example 21. Draw the 2630 line parallel to the pressure altitude lines at the appropriate distance between the slanted 2000 and 3000 ft guide lines.. Go back again briefly to the intersection of the temperature and pressure altitude lines.. All is up).••. Establish the density altitude intersection. draw a line down to the reference line and place a mark there. Go back briefly to the intersection of the pressure altitude line and the ISA+5 line. parallel to the grid. From where this line intersects the 2630 pressure altitude line.::::::::: ! : i: k dti.Example 20. therefore draw a line parallel to the slanted !SA lines at the appropriate distance (halfway in this case) between !SA and !SA+ I 0..1013 = 15 x 30 = ·'··'··:-·:-· ·)·f·t·t· 450ft. Temperature was given as + l6°C. E = 1250 Q = I 02S (higher than I 013:.• . From where the two lines intersect. The aerodrome elevation is 24SO feet.:i:i::i. p = 1250-450 = soo ft. Establish the density altitude intersection. ·i·i·i·i· +H+ •f•l•i•i• ·l·l··:·· ·i·l·i•(• . in line with the grid. ·:·:·:·:· Draw the SOO ft line between the slanted S/L and I 000 ft guidelines. E = 24SO Q = IOOS (lower than 1013 :. 1013-IOOS = 5x30 =150ft. draw an appropriate line parallel to the slanted !SA lines but if the temperature is given in oc ambient. Temperature was given as ISA+5. the QNH is IOOS hPa and the ambient temperature is + !6°C.(2 x 2Yz) = 15.•. You can see that l6°C at 2630 ft is equivalent to ISA+6. Thus if the temperature is given in !SA. Principles of Flight Performance 17-27 . If you draw a thin line horizontally to the left (parallel to the main grid) you will see that it intersects the ambient temperature line at I soc which is the equivalent temperature in oc for ISA+5 at this pressure altitude.

I 7-9 on the previous page. The graphs we use in this chapter are for an imaginary aircraft. runway slope. having established the temperature.5 tailwind factors remain in place and must be applied. when using this type of chart. those charts which are still contained in the flight manual may continue to be used for perfmmance planning under Part 135. draw a line representing this temperature parallel to the !SA lines or parallel to the grid lines. and the lines marked for "day" operations (there is no longer a distinction between the day and night safety factors). Thus it is necessary first to convert the elevation of the aerodrome to a pressure altitude and then allow for temperature. draw a line straight down parallel to the grid until you intersect the reference line below. depending on how the temperature was expressed. When you have calculated the pressure altitude of the aerodrome. runway surface and slope correction factors. to establish density altitude we must first work out the pressure altitude and then correct this for any temperature deviation from !SA. if the take-off distance available is limited. be sure to use the graphs which are marked "Air Transport Operations". This graph allows for density altitude. Take-off Graph Take-off distance required can be calculated using the graph at Fig. That is. draw a line parallel to the pressure altitude lines. Hence. type of runway surface. Although the provision of these P-charts